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Full text of "The Chinese and their rebellions, viewed in connection with their national philosophy, ethics, legislation, and administration. To which is added, an essay on civilization and its present state in the East and West. By Thomas Taylor Meadows"

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Q.h  110. 


HARVARD  COLLEGE 
LIBRARY 


From  The  Library  of 

JOSEPH  FRANCIS  FLETCHER,  JR. 
1934-1984 

PROFESSOR  OF  CHINESE  AND  INNER  ASIAN  HISTORY 


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THE  CHINESE 
AND   THEIR  REBELLIONS, 


VIEWED  IN  OOKNBCnON  WITH 


lEIR  NATIONAL  PHILOSOPHY,  ETHICS,  LEGISLATION, 
AND  ADMINISTRATION. 

TO  WHICH  IB  ADDED, 

AN  ESSAY  ON  (civilization        _ 


<^ 


V 
AND   ITS   PRESENT   STATE   IN   THE  EAST  .^^"^W EST.  ^ 


BY    J  .     ■       •;. 

THOMAS  TAYLOR  MEADOWS, 

CHINEBB  nrrERPRBTBR  IN  H.  If.  OIviL  SEBYIOE. 


LONDON: 

SMITH,  ELDER  &   CO.  65,  CORNHILL. 

BOMBAY:  SMITH,  TAYLOR  ft  CO. 

1856. 


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nfbtta4aLrwk/«f  a/JkstriabQtf^'m  orttt-vt^guyeUfcr  conyrytrciaV  Anperteuyr 
vHn^  dtnetet -efw  ^baien^  tTan/fundttBaj  aeuTi»aa'  a^Jhrtmr  HmnrurntMni 
retidtner taiffttker  wt^ thv .BrUiKh/  anJL nrtu^tuttt/  po$9tetiant  oTBan^lung 
V  hdn^ ^imt/ m/ Eg^itimv  ee^ibBilK,  as    NING     PO. 


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'rOryn^iadmj  ii  madtbr  oomnumded/  fy  ihffTeMpmg  iSretf. 


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PREFACE. 


British  trade  with  China  commenced  about  two 
centuries  ago.  During  the  first  half  of  that  period,  it 
was  conducted  at  Ningpo  and  Amoy  as  well  as  at 
Canton,  but  only  in  a  desultory  manner ;  and,  after  the 
middle  of  the  eighteenth  century,  the  restrictions  of  the 
Manchoo-Chinese  government  confined  it  altogether  to 
Canton  (and  the  Portuguese  settlement  of  Macao), 
where  it  was  placed  exclusively  under  the  control  of  a 
close  corporation,  called  the  Hong  merchants.  On  the 
side  of  the  Enghsh,  it  was  in  like  manner  placed  as  a 
monopoly  in  the  hands  of  one  body,  the  East  India 
Company.  Troubles  arose  from  time  to  time  between 
these  two  commercial  bodies,  originating  not  unfre- 
quently  in  the  exactions  of  the  mandarins  on  the  foreign 
trade,  committed  through  the  former ;  and  at  the  instance 
of  the  latter,  the  British  Imperial  Government  sent  two 
embassies  to  Peking,  to  advocate  their  interests  i — the 
one  in  1792,  under  Lord  Macartney,  the  other  1816, 
under  Lord  Amherst.  But  up  to  the  period  of  the 
arrival,  and  after  the  departure  of  these  Ambassadors, 
who  were  called  tribute  bearers  by  the  Chinese  autho- 
rities, the  latter  would  hold  no  direct  intercourse  with 

h 


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i 


VI  PREFACE. 

the  barbarian  merchants;  and  the  two  close  trading 
companies  continued  to  serve  .as  international  buflfers. 

When,  however,  one  of  these  was  removed,  by  the 
abolition  of  the  East  India  Company's  privileges  in 
1834,  and  British  Imperial  officers  were  appointed  to 
support  our  interests,  a  collision  between  Governments, 
which  were  influenced  by  totally  different  views,  became 
inevitable.  After  some  lesser  hostile  acts  on  both  sides, 
war  was  formally  commenced  in  1840,  the  immediate 
cause  being  the  attempt  of  the  Chinese  Government  to 
suppress,  by  coercion,  at  once  opium  smoking  and  the 
opium  trade. 

The  misapplication  of  a  word,  viz.  H^  Barbarian,  was 
a  deeper  cause,  which  would  in  time  have  led  to  hosti- 
lities, even  if  nothing  more  capable  of  abuse  than  cotton 
cloths  and  teas  had  been  an  article  of  commerce  between 
the  two  countries.  In  the  course  of  their  history,  the 
Chinese  had  never  met  with  a  people  that  was  at  all  to 
be  compared  to  themselves  in  point  of  civilization ;  all 
but  themselves  were  barbarians,  and  accordingly  met 
with  a  policy  (pp.  234, 279)  founded  on  a  long  experience 
and  a  just  appreciation  of  their  more  or  less  barbarous 
characteristics.  The  maritime  strangers  from  the  Occi- 
dent who  first  appeared  on  the  sea  board  of  China  had, 
as  adventuroi\^8  and  turbulent  seamen,  many  of  the  out- 
ward qualities  of  the  continental  peoples  hitherto  known. 
It  never  occurred  to  the  Chinese  that  these  men  might 
be  among  the  least  cultivated  members  of  a  large 
orderly  community;  and  they  did  not  even  inquire 
whether  the  resemblances  in  the  specimens  before  them 
were  anything  but  superficial.  They  called  them  barba- 
rianSi  ascribed  to  them  oU  the  qualities  of  barbarians, 


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PREFACE.  Vli 

and,  very  naturaUy,  observed  towards  them  that  policy 
which  experience  had  proved  to  be  most  advantageous 
in  dealing  with  barbarians.  As  a  part  of  this  poKcy, 
the  Chinese  Imperial  officers  would  not  communicate 
directly  with  the  "  barbarian  headmen/'  nor  speak  of 
them  except  in  the  style  of  superiors  speaking  of  in- 
feriors. On  the  other  hand,  the  British  Imperial  officers 
could  not  communicate  otherwise  than  directly  with  the 
*' semi-barbarous '*  mandarins,  nor  as  less  than  their 
equals.  The  mental  agencies  were  denied  aU  oppor- 
tunity  of  efficient  action,  and  the  physical  came  un« 
avoidably  into  play. 

After  two  years  of  active  hostilities,  a  treaty  of  peace 
was  signed  on  the  29th  of  August,  1842,  by  which  the 
island  of  Hong-kong  was  ceded  to  Great  Britain,  and 
the  ports  of  Amoy,  Foochow,  Ningpo  and  Shanghae 
were  opened  to  foreign  trade;  making  together  with 
,  Canton  what  have  since  been  known  as  the  Five  Ports. 

In  November  1841,  about  a  year  before  the  treaty 
was  signed,  I  commenced  the  study  of  the  Chinese 
language  at  the  University  of  Munich.  I  had  then  been 
about  three  years  in  Germany,  engaged  in  various 
studies.  Happening  to  notice  the  announcement  of 
a  0Dur8e  of  lectures  on  the  language  of  the  Chinese  by 
Professor  Neumann,  the  interest  I  had  always  taken  in 
the  people,  induced  me  to  employ  an  otherwise  vacant 
hour  in  learning  something  of  their  tongue.  But  I  pre- 
sently began  to  devote  my  whole  time  to  it,  with  the 
intention  of  seeking  a  place  under  our  Government  in 
China; — ^which  country  I  reached,  not  in  time  to  see 
anything  of  the  war,  already  brought  to  a  close  by  the 
abovenamed  treaty,  but  in  time  to  see  the  ratified  copies 

h  2 


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Vlil  PREFACE. 

of  the  latter  exchanged  at  Hong-kong,  and  then  to  take 
the  post  of  Interpreter  in  the  Canton  Consulate  from 
the  day  that  trade  was  opened  there  under  the  new 
system.  My  Chinese  experience  commenced,  therefore, 
with  the  inauguration  of  a  new  era  in  Anglo-Chinese 
intercourse. 

By  the  Treaty,  trade  was  thrown  open  to  every  one, 
English  or  Chinese,  who  choose  to  engage  in  it,  on  pay- 
ment of  fixed  duties;  and  Englishmen,  merchants  or 
others,  had  the  right  to  hire  or  build  houses,  and  live 
with  their  famiUes  at  any  of  the  Five  Ports  without 
restriction.  British  subjects  residing  at  these  Ports 
were  not  amenable,  as  in  other  countries,  to  the  laws  of 
the  land,  but  to  those  of  England,  modified  in  minor 
matters  to  suit  the  peculiar  circumstances.  It  was  to 
watch  over  the  due  observance  of  this  Treaty,  and  to 
form  Courts  of  first  instance  in  matters  criminal  and 
civil,  that  Consulates  were  established  at  the  Ports. 
They  consisted  each  of  five  permanent  members  of  the 
British  Consular  Service,  viz.  a  Consul,  a  Vice-Consul, 
an  Interpreter  and  two  Assistants,  besides  a  greater  or 
less  number  of  Chinese  clerks,  messengers,  &c.  The 
chief  occupation  of  the  Interpreter  is  to  conduct  the 
communications,  written  and  oral,  between  the  Consul 
and  the  Chinese  authorities ; — communications  relating 
to  a  vast  variety  of  subjects,  especially  at  the  two  prin- 
cipal ports  of  Canton  and  Shanghae,  which  were  my 
stations  in  China  for  ten  years  and  a  half.  Besides 
a  steady  flow  of  cases  of  theft,  and  bad  debts,  and 
breaches  of  contract  and  disputes  about  the  payment  of 
duties,  we  had  river-piracies  committed  by  the  Chinese 
on  the  English,  and  homicides,  justifiable  and  unjusti- 


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PREFACE.  ix 

fiable,  on  both  sides.  The  factories  at  Canton  form 
a  close  block  of  buildings  facing  the  river  and  sur- 
ronnded  by  high  walls;  and  there  the  two  or  three 
hundred  foreign  residents — chiefly  English,  Americans 
and  Parsees — had  several  times  to  stand  a  sort  of  siege 
from  infuriated  mobs  who  tried  to  fire  the  factories,  and 
whom  we  had  to  repel  by  force  of  arms.  During  and 
after  these  affairs,  the  Interpreter  had  of  course  a  busy 
time  of  it.  But  it  was  when  taken  or  sent  away  by 
H.  M/s  Plenipotentiary  on  special  missions,  that  I  had 
my  most  interesting  experiences.  Some  of  these  are  de- 
scribed in  the  following  pages ;  and  the  scattered  notices 
which  the  reader  will  there  find  of  my  avocations,  will, 
together  with  what  has  just  been  said,  give  him  a  very 
sufficient  idea  of  the  opportunities  which  T  have  had  to 
gain  a  knowledge  of  the  subjects  which  I  discuss. 

Among  other  things,  he  will  observe  that  I  was  sent 
to  the  Loochoo  islands  by  Sir  G.  Bonham.  About  a 
year  afterwards,  the  Japanese  expedition  of  the  Americans 
under  Commodore  Perry  visited  the  same  place.  An 
educated  Chinese,  who  accompanied  the  expedition, 
wrote  a  description  of  the  little  State,  a  translation  of 
which  appeared (4th March,  1854)  in  the  "North  China 
Herald."  In  describing  the  Loochoo  officials,  the  writer 
says  of  one  of  them : — 

"  Yung  kung  is  well  practised  in  the  literary  art,  has 
good  abilities,  and  speaks  the  mandarin  of  Peking. 
This  accomplishment  he  acquired  from  having  accom- 
panied an  embassy  in  1835,  when  he  remained  six 
years  in  the  Capital.  He  has  in  consequence  a  perfect 
knowledge  of  my  country's  manners  and  institutions, 
and  is  unquestionably  without  a  rival  in  all  Loochoo* 


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X  PJUSFACE. 

Last  year  when  T.  T.  Meadows,  Esq.,  was  here,  he  was 
interpreter,  and  admired  that  gentleman's  command  of 
the  Peking  dialect.  He  often  invited  me  to  take  wine 
with  him  and  write  verses  with  a  certain  rhyme.  Then 
when  poetizing  was  over,  he  praised  my  productions 
highly.  When  he  came  to  see  me,  as  he  frequently  did, 
our  conversation  was  upon  poetry  or  the  news  of  the 
day.  Sometimes  we  talked  of  the  institutions  of  the 
country.*' 

No  compliment  on  the  subject  of  the  Chinese  lan- 
guage has  afforded  me  so  much  gratification  as  the 
perfectly  spontaneous  praise,  which  was  given  in  the 
above  oonversation  between  these  two  curious  Asiatics, 
over  their  "  wine  and  verses  *'  out  in  that  little  island 
principality  of  the  Pacific.  The  Loochooan  Yimg  kung  I 
remember,  but  his  Chinese  interlocutor  is  quite  imknown 
to  me,  and  I  do  not  know  who  traiislated  his  narrative 
for  the  Shanghae  Journal ;  in  which  it  did  not  appear 
till  some  months  after  I  had  left  for  England.  Under 
the  circumstances,  I  may  hope  to  be  pardoned  for 
quoting  a  certificate  so  impartial. 

A  year  or  two  before  leaving  China,  I  had  planned 
three  books.  The  first  was  to  have  been  a  description 
of  the  Chinese  people,  rigorously  based  on  the  principle 
of  proceeding  fi-om  the  general  to  the  special.  It  was 
to  have  commenced  with  an  exposition  of  the  funda- 
mental beliefs  of  the  Chinese,  and  then  to  have  given 
a  view  of  their  legislation,  their  administration  and  their 
social  customs,  as  based  on  these  fundamental  beliefs. 
This  would  have  been  accompanied  by  the  correspond- 
ing historical  sketches,  viz.  a  sketch  of  the  history  of 
philosophy  and  of  political  history;   together  with  a 


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PREFACE.  XI 

notice  of  political  geography,  and  of  the  physical  features 
of  the  country  in  so  far  as  they  have  influenced  the  na- 
tional mind.  Some  portions  of  what  would  have  consti- 
tuted this  proposed  work  have  been  embodied,  in  a  less 
systematic  manner,  in  the  present  volume.  And  it  is 
still  my  intention  to  execute,  at  some  future  day,  the 
work  as  originally  planned ;  for,  though  all  the  subjects 
have  been  handled  in  already  existing  works,  the  method 
of  representation  would,  I  conceive,  throw  much  new 
light  on  the  whole. 

The  second  work  was  to  have  been  a  narrative  of  all 
that  I  thought  amusing  or  interesting  in  my  own  move- 
ments and  experiences  from  the  time  I  left  England 
in  1842  till  my  return  in  1854,  together  with  a  view  of 
the  present  Chinese  rebellion.  This  latter  portion  has 
been  completely  executed  in  the  present  volume ;  while 
some  of  the  experiences  and  movements  have  found 
their  way  naturally  into  Chapters  XV.  XVI.  and  XVII., 
as  also  into  some  portions  of  the  Essay  on  Civilization. 

The  third  book  was  to  have  been  on  the  Union  of 
the  British  Empire  and  the  Improvement  of  the  British 
Executive.  It  would  have  consisted  of  a  detailed  plan 
for  the  effectuation  of  these  two  objects, — chiefly  (though 
not  altogether)  by  one  and  the  same  means,  viz.  a 
system  of  Public  Service  Competitive  Examinations. 
The  present  volume  dwells  frequently  on  the  effect  that 
such  Examinations  have  had  on  the  Chinese  people ;  and 
I  shall  close  this  Preface  with  an  enumeration  of  some 
of  the  leading  features  of  the  plan  for  the  British  Empire. 
At  some  future  time,  I  shall  go  into  the  whole  subject, 
unless  forestalled  by  some  one  in  the  enjoyment  of  better 
health  and  more  leisure. 


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Xll  PBEFACE. 


It  is  ill-health  that  has  prevented  the  preparation  of 
the  above  three  works,  and  which  has  caused  even  the 
present  to  be  less  systematic  than  I  should  otherwise 
have  made  it.  Chapter  V.  was  written  upwards  of  a 
year  ago,  and  was  originally  intended  to  form,  with 
some  other  matter,  an  article  in  a  quarterly  review. 
When  I  gave  up  that  idea  and  wrote  Chapters  I.  11. 
and  III.,  I  had  no  intention  that  the  volume  should 
extend  to  a  third  of  the  size  which  it  has  finally  reached. 
Hence  I  therein  shortly  noticed  some  points  that  are 
dwelt  on  at  length  in  later  Chapters.  The  Essay  on 
Civilization  was  originally  intended  for  separate  publi- 
cation. That  Essay  and  the  first  fifteen  Chapters  were  in 
the  hands  of  the  printer  six  months  ago ;  the  remaining  five 
long  Chapters,  comprising  nearly  the  half  of  the  volume, 
having  been  since  written  as  my  strength  permitted. 

But  though  ill-health  has  greatly  retarded  my  labours 
by  making  them  exceedingly  uphill  work  at  times,  and 
partially  prevented  a  systematic  arrangement,  the  same 
leading  ideas  and  principles  pervade  and  give  unity  to 
the  book.  Further,  the  reader  may  rest  assured  that  the 
after  extensions  which  took  place  were  made  solely  to 
give  greater  completeness  to  the  view  of  the  whole  sub- 
ject. For  instance,  I  regard  Chapter  XVIII.  on  the 
Philosophy  &c.  &c.  as  the  moat  valuable  portion  of  the 
work ;  while  as  to  arrangement,  if  the  reader  will  peruse 
the  Essay  on  Civilization  first,  then  that  Chapter,  and 
afterwards  the  other  Chapters  in  the  order  in  which 
they  stand,  beginning  with  the  first, — he  will  find  that 
he  is  led  along  a  nearly  straight  path  from  general  and 
remote  principles  to  special  and  recent  occurrences.  I 
strongly  recommend  this  course  to  those  who  may  have 


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PREFACE.  xm 


reasons  for  wishing  to  get  all  the  information  that  the 
volume  affords,  and  who  may  resolve  to  go  through  it 
for  that  purpose. 

From  the  sketch  of  the  first  work  that  it  was  my 

intention   to   have  prepared,  it  wiU  be  observed,  that 

it  formed  no  part  of  my  plan  to  deal  with  inanimate 

nature   in  China,  or  even  with  the  state   of  material 

civilization  there  except  in  the  most  general  way.     Up 

to  the   period  when   I  commenced  the   study  of  the 

Chinese  language,  I  had  devoted  most  of  my  time  to 

mathematics  and  the  physical  sciences.      And  so  loth 

was  I  to  give  up  one  of  the  most  attractive  of  the  latter. 

Chemistry — ^in  which  I  had  advanced  so  far  as  to  make 

(qualitative)  analyses — that  I  had  a  chest  of  Reagents 

constructed  at  Munich  with  the  intention  of  taking  it 

out  to  China.      But    before    starting  from  London  I 

began  to  perceive  that  it  was  only  to  animate  nature, 

and  to  one,  though  by  far  the  most  important  section 

of  that,  viz.  to  man,  that  I  should  thenceforth  have  to 

devote  my  whole  attention.      Accordingly  I  left  my 

Reagents  behind,  and  have  never  since  allowed  myself 

to   be   attracted  by  the  scientific  study  of  inanimate 

nature  in  any  of  its  features.      Subdivision  of  labour 

requires  (and  this  may  be  considered  a  portion  of  what 

I  have  to  say  on  the  improvement  of  the   Executive) 

that  international  agents  should  devote  themselves  first 

to  languages, — their  means  of  operation, — and  next  to 

the  study  of  man,  as  an  individual  and  in  communities ; 

from  the    general  principles   of  psychology,   through 

ethnology   and  morality,    to   the   details   of    practical 

legislation  and  of  family  customs.     That  is  assiu-edly  a 

sufficiently  wide  field — one  which  few  will  ever  venture 


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3av  PEEPACE. 


to  hold  themselves  fiiUy  acquainted  with.  For  a 
Diplomatic  or  Consular  officer  to  occupy  his  time  with 
botany  or  geology  or  practical  chemistry  or  meteorology, 
is  a  complete  misdirection  of  his  energies.  For  instance, 
it  in  nowise  affects  the  discharge  of  his  duties,  whether 
a  Consul  in  China  regards  the  stout  bamboo  pole  of 
the  goods'  porter  as  a  bit  of  wood  or,  what  it  botanically 
is,  a  bit  of  thick  grass ;  but  it  may  very  much  affect  the 
right  discharge  of  those  duties  in  Anglo-Chinese  dis- 
putes, if  he  is  ignorant  of  the  requirements  of  the  doctrine 
of  filial  piety,  which  would  justify  the  same  porters  in 
insisiinff  on  absenting  themselves  from  the  business  of 
the  British  merchant,  their  employer,  for  the  time 
necessary  to  sacrifice  at  their  forefathers'  graves.  All 
miUtary  officers  may  usefully  apply  themselves  to  the 
physical  sciences,  and  those  of  the  Engineers  and  Com- 
missariat mmt  severally  study  certain  of  them.  But 
apart  from  these  members  of  the  Executive,  it  must  be 
left  to  professional  students  to  make  discoveries  as  to 
the  state  of  inanimate  nature  in  foreign  countries ;  to 
such  men  for  instance  as  Mr.  Fortune, — who  has  thrown 
light  on  the  botany  of  China. 

There  is,  unfortunately,  in  British  official  life  still  so 
much  ignorance  of,  and  consequent  inattention  to  funda- 
mental beliefs  and  general  principles,  that,  in  presenting 
a  work  which  professes  to  deal  with  such  beliefs  and 
principles,  I  feel  compelled  in  self-defence  to  advert 
particularly  to  the  circumstance.  Men  of  cultivated 
minds  know  very  well  that  "  les  institutions  et  la  con- 
dition d'un  peuple  sont  toujours  I'application  de  la 
morale  qui  y  est  dominante ;"  and  that  consequently,  in 
every  really  sound  political  procedure,  the   dominant 


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PREFACE.  XV 

morality  should  constantly  be  kept  in  view.  To  the 
merely  closet  speculator,  however  sound  his  speculations 
may  be,  the  British  pubhc  is  slow  to  give  attention. 
This  being  a  well  known  fact,  I  may  hope  to  be  excused 
for  reminding  the  reader  that  the  present  writer  is  no 
merely  closet  thinker.  The  enumeration  given  above  of 
the  various  kinds  of  business  I  have  had  to  deal  with  as 
Interpreter,  as  ako  the  events  narrated  in  the  following 
pages  wiU  show  him  that  my  life,  for  eleven  years,  has 
been  eminently  practical.  I  have  constantly  been 
brought  into  contact  with,  and  had  opportunities  of 
observing,  people — officials  and  others — just  when  they 
were  engaged  in  affairs  likely  to  affect  their  fame,  or 
their  pecuniary  resources,  or,  not  unfrequently,  their  very 
lives.  Now  a  result  of  this  really  positive,  this  factual, 
experience  has  been  to  convince  me  that,  so  far  as  British 
official  procedure  is  concerned,  a  large  proportion  of  our 
errors  arises  from  our  neglecting  to  connect  our  practice 
with  corresponding  theoretical  principles;  the  mere 
attempt  to  do  which  would  often  expose  the  unsoundness 
of  measures,  before  we  were  irrevocably  embarked  in  their 
execution.  There  are  numbers  of  men — and  those,  men 
who  have  great  interests  to  watch  over,  to  advance  and 
to  defend — who  do  not  even  know  what  a  general  prin- 
ciple is.  Such  men  take  refuge  in  what  they  call 
practical  views,  though  they  are,  of  all  people,  the  most 
unpractical;  especially  when  placed  in  totally  novel 
circumstances, — when  precedents  fail  them  and  they  are 
called  upon  to  think  as  well  as  to  remember.  So  extreme 
is  their  ignorance,  that  with  them,  "  visionary  specula- 
tion," "theory,"  and  "mental  philosophy  "  are  "all  the 
same  thing."    In  opposition  to  that,  they  set  up  their 


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XVI  PREFACE. 


*'  common  sense."  But  common  sense  is  a  term,  which 
if  not  originated  by  the  mental  philosophy  of  Reid 
certainly  owes  its  now  very  extensive  use  to  his  meta- 
physical discussions.  It  means  the  convictions,  opinions 
or  feelings — the  sense — of  human  beings  generally  or  in 
common.  But  this  philosophical  use  has  become  per- 
verted into  a  nearly  opposite  signification,  viz.  the  crade 
and  vague  notions,  on  any  subject,  of  each  single  person. 
When  the  self-styled  "  practical  "  man  says :  "  Let's 
have  no  theorizing  about  the  matter ;  /  take  a  common 
sense  view  of  it ;"  he  does  not  mean  common  sense  at 
all,  but  only  his  own  individual  nonsense. 

The  remarks  made  above  with  reference  to  abstinence 
from  the  physical  sciences  on  the  part  of  international 
officials,  have  of  course  no  application  to  works,  original 
in  some  portions,  but  in  others  avowedly  compilations, 
because  intended  to  give,  in  the  coinpass  of  one  book, 
a  view  of  the  state  of  a  country  generally.  The  best 
work  of  the  kind  with  reference  to  China  is  decidedly 
"  The  Chinese,"  by  Sir  John  Davis.  I  may  state,  in 
support  of  my  own  views  (given  at  pages  400 — 404)  that 
though  he,  in  the  outset  of  his  chapter  on  "  Government 
and  Legislation,"  adverts  to  "parental  authority"  as 
*'  the  model  of  political  rule  in  China,"  and  quotes  a 
passage  from  the  senior  English  lay  sinologue,  which 
points  to  the  doctrine  of  submission  to  that  authority  as 
the  cause  of  the  long  duration  of  the  Chinese,  still  Sir 
John  Davis,  by  other  quotations  and  by  his  own 
language,  in  subsequent  portions  of  the  same  chapter, 
obviously  indicates  the  principle  of  rule  by  moral  force, 
coupled  with  the  institution  of  public  examinations,  as 
the  real  causes  of  that  long  duration. 


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PREFACE.  XVll 

To  those  who  can  read  German,  I  strongly  recommend 
a  work  whose  title  prevents  it  from  obtaining  that 
attention  which  its  real  value  deserves.  This  is  "  Die 
Yolker  der  Mandschurey,"  by  J.  H.  Plath,  1831.  It 
was  not  until  I  began  the  study  of  the  Manchoo  language 
that  I  got  this  book  from  Europe ;  when  I  found  it,  to 
my  surprise,  to  be  a  very  informing  work  about  the 
Chinese; — though  informing  less  from  massing  of 
details  than  from  the  philosophic  spirit  in  which  the 
writer  deals  with  his  subject.  It  might  be  called  the 
History  of  the  Chinese  Empire  under  the  domination  of 
the  Manchoos.  It  has  the  merit  of  being  written  in 
a  clear  nntechnical  German.  A  rendering  into  EngUsh 
with  an  historical  continuation,  would  be  a  decided  boon 
to  EngUsh  and  Americans  interested  in  Eastern  Asia. 

Next  to  the  work  of  Sir  John  Davis,  in  point  of 
general  usefulness,  stands  the  Middle  Kingdom  {i,  e,  the 
Chinese  Empire)  by  Mr.  (now  Dr.)  WilUams,  1848. 
This,  being  compiled  some  ten  years  after  the  former 
work,  is  frdler  as  to  recent  history ;  and,  with  the  help 
of  translations  made  in  that  period,  gives  more  details 
on  the  geography  of  China  Proper,  and  also  some  good 
notices  of  the  other  great  divisions  of  the  Chinese 
Empire. 

These  three  works, — the  first  by  a  British  officer  who 
had  served  both  the  Company  and  the  Queen,  the 
second  by  a  philosophic  Gottingen  Professor,  and  the  third 
by  an  American  Missionary,  twelve  years  a  resident  in 
China, — are  comprised  in  six  volumes,  which,  together 
with  that  now  laid  before  the  public,  form  a  very  com- 
jdete  library  about  the  Chinese  Empire  and  the  Chinese 
people. 


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ZYUl  PREFACE. 

In  an  historical  point  of  view,  the  present  volume  may- 
be regarded  as  a  supplement  to  the  above  works,  detail- 
ing as  it  does  the  chief  political  occurrences  of  the  last 
six  eventful  years ;  while  Chapter  XVIII.  professes  to 
give  an  entirely  new  view  of  the  national  fundamental 
beliefs,  and  more  particularly  of  the  language  in  which 
these  are  enunciated  in  the  Sacred  Books. 

My  maps  specially  indicate  that  physical  feature 
which  gives  a  peculiar  character  to  the  South-Eastern 
portion  of  China  Proper  and  its  inhabitants.  Apart 
from  that,  they  are  intended  exclusively  as  illustrations 
of  historical,  and  of  poUtical  or  administerial  geography. 
The  smallest  shows  roughly  the  five  great  divisions  of 
the  Chinese  Empire,  with  the  object  of  more  effectually 
limiting  attention  to  the  chief  one,  China  Proper.  The 
purpose  of  the  largest  is  sufficiently  explained  by  its  title 
and  observations.  Of  district  cities,  I  have  only  entered 
in  it  such  as  have  been  occupied  by  the  Tae  pings,  together 
with  a  few  on  the  coast  which  have  been  visited  by  myself. 
The  sketch  of  Kwang  tung  is  an  enlargement  and  im- 
provement of  one  which  I  drew  for  a  former  work,  l^e 
reader  muat  conceive  all  the  other  seventeen  provinces  of 
the  large  map  as  divided  in  a  similar  manner  into  Circuits, 
Departfnents  and  Districts,  and  as  each  containing ,  on  the 
average,  a  proportionate  number  of  District  Cities. 

With  regard  to  the  yellow  shading  on  the  large  map, 
which  indicates  the  coimtry  commanded  by  the  Tae  pings, 
I  have  now  to  state,  by  way  of  supplement  to  Chapter 
XIV.,  that  the  last  mail  brought  intelligence  of  the 
re-occupation  of  Loo  chow  by  the  Imperialists.  On  the 
other  hand,  it  would  seem  that  the  Tae  pings  had  pene* 
trated  up  the  Great  River  into  Sze  chuen,  and  also 


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PREFACE.  XIX 

extended  the  range  of  their  operations  further  to  the 
sooth  in  Hoo  nan  and  Keang  se.  We  learn  nothing 
more  of  the  reported  movement  of  the  Eastern  Prince 
with  a  large  army  on  Hwuy  chow. 

The  chief  source  of  information  respecting  the  origin 
of  the  Tae  ping  sect  and  their  first  resort  to  arms  against 
the  Imperial  authorities  is  a  little  book  compiled  by  the 
late  Mr.  Hamberg,  a  Protestant  missionary  at  Hong- 
kong; who  got  the  details  from  Hung  jin,  a  relative 
(pp.  191,  192)  of  the  founder  of  the  sect,  the  now 
Heavenly  Prince  at  Nanking.  The  extracts  in  Chapters 
VI.  VII.  and  VIII.  are  from  this  book,  of  which  there 
exists  a  cheap  London  republication  under  the  title  of 
"  The  Chinese  Rebel  Chief"  A  number  of  extrinsic 
corroborative  circumstances,  as  well  as  certain  of  its  in- 
trinsic features,  convince  me  of  the  perfect  truthfulness 
of  this  narrative.  The  manifest  errors  of  Hung  jin  and 
certain  delusions  he  labours  under  are  precisely  those 
which  a  Chinese,  such  as  himself,  was  likely  to  be  subject 
to,  while  desiring  to  give  the  most  faithful  account. 

With  reference  to  one  number  in  this  volume,  that  of 
eighty  thousand  on  page  64,  it  has  been  taken  from 
a  work  by  Dr.  Ryan  on  the  subject.  The  dates  and 
numbers  with  respect  to  dealings  between  Chinese  and 
Occidentals,  I  have  myself  taken  from  the  accounts  of 
these  latter.  All  the  purely  Chinese  dates  and  numbers, 
whether  referring  to  the  present  rebellion  or  to  the  pre- 
vious history  of  the  Chinese,  I  have  taken  directly  from 
the  best  Chinese  authorities.  This  has  formed  one  of  the 
greatest  labours  connected  with  the  preparation  of  the 
volume.  For  instance,  the  general  nature  of  the  occurrences 
narrated  on  the  three  pages,  108, 109,  and  110,  had  long 


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XX  PREFACE. 

been  familiar  to  me  in  China ;  but  in  order  to  ensure 
accuracy  in  the  few  dates  and  numbers  there  given, 
I  read,  here  in  London,  some  three  volumes  of  a  work 
entitled  "  Shing  woo  ke.  Record  of  the  Holy  Wars,"  and 
which  is  a  history  of  the  various  wars  by  which  the  Man- 
choos  fought  their  way  to  power  in  Eastern  Asia.  There 
is,  in  the  present  volume,  not  a  single  statement  as  to  facts 
connected  with  Chinese  political  history  or  Chinese  phi- 
losophy that  I  have  not  verified  on  various  original  works 
of  acknowledged  authority ;  of  which  I  brought  upwards 
of  800  volumes  home  with  me  for  that  purpose. 

I  take  this  opportunity  of  publishing  the  fact,  that 
after  having  been  at  the  trouble  of  selecting  and  packing 
all  these  books,  and  at  the  expense  of  bringing  them 
home  overland,  I  had  to  pay  a  considerable  sum  in  the 
shape  of  duties  and  the  cost  of  clearing  them  at  our 
London  Customhouse.  In  a  book  that  treats  of  civiliza- 
tion, I  feel  bound  to  denounce  this  infliction  of  a.  fine  on 
endeavours  to  advance  knowledge,  as  a  piece  of  sheer 
barbarism  or  savagery.  In  China,  not  only  is  the  press 
free,  but  books  are,  at  every  Customhouse  throughout 
the  country,  maritime  or  internal,  exempt  from  all  duty. 
I  believe  the  most  extortionate  mandarin  would  be 
shocked  at  the  notion  of  levying  a  tax  on  the  great 
means  of  diffusing  instruction. 

Returning  to  what  I  have  stated  about  the  trouble 
taken  by  me  to  secure  accuracy,  I  think  more  attention 
should  be  directed  to  the  fact,  that  writers  who  publish 
on  foreign  nations,  without  taking  such  trouble,  are 
deserving  not  merely  of  close  criticism,  which  all  must 
expect,  but  of  severe  reprehension.  Great  social  and 
international  mischiefs  are  the  ultimate  consequences  of 


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PREFACE.  XXI 

the  loose  statements  thereby  put  into  circulation.  Most 
reprehensible  of  all  is  that  style  of  sweeping  assertion 
of  moral  worthlessness,  or  even  of  utter  vileness,  as 
the  ascertained  character  of  whole  nations.  The  same 
assertions^  indulged  in  with  respect  to  individuals  or  to 
families,  would  subject  the  offenders  to  heavy  damages 
for  libel.  Pake  praise  cannot  in  the  end  be  useful  to 
human  progress,  but  it  is  at  least  an  amiable  error. 
False  vilification,  on  the  other  hand,  directly  engenders 
mutual  contempt  and  loathing :  both  without  real 
grounds,  yet  both  certainly  leading  to  overt  insults,  to 
fights  and  to  wars.  The  reader  wiU  perceive  that  I  have 
given  myself  some  trouble  to  refute  those  who  have 
written  on  the  Chinese  in  this  spirit  of  wantpa  depre- 
ciation. With  other  writers  whose  positicpis  I  irave  dis- 
puted, as  Drs.  Medhurst  and  William^^  iny  differences 
are  only  questions  of  correctness  qs  to  philosophical 
literature;  a  subject  of  great  importance,  certainly,  but 
where  errors  may,  after  much  ci^Vbe.  made  on  either 
side ;  and  where  they  do  not,  moBepver,  at  once  lead  to 
those  mischiefs  of  which  fli|;^9nt  abuse  is  the  direct 
cause.  I  trust  these  words  will  show  the  true  bearing 
of  my  criticisms  ; — and,  in  every  case,  no  future  writer 
on  China  must  conceive  himself  personally  attacked  if 
his  labours  are  criticized  by  me. 

In  the  Essay  on  Civilization,  I  have  explained  how  it 
was  that  the  examination  of  that  subject  forced  itself 
upon  me.  In  other  respects  also,  the  Essay  speaks  for 
itself;  and  as  the  subject  is  one  which  thousands  of 
home  residents  are  as  well  enabled  by  opportunities  to 
judge  of  as  myself,  I  leave  it,  without  further  comment, 
to  public  consideration. 


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XXU  PREFACE. 

At  pages  606,  607  and  608, 1  have  shown  that  nine  years  ago, 
I  published  a  volume  entitled  "Desultory  Notes  on  China,"  one 
of  the  main  objects  of  which  was  to  urge  the  institution  of  Public 
Service  Competitive  Examinations  for  all  British  subjects,  with  a 
view  to  the  Ikprovehent  of  the  British  Executive  Ain>  thjb 
Union  of  the  British  Empire. 

About  the  time  when  I  published  that  volume,  I  actually  em- 
ployed Competitive  Examinations  for  the  British  Service.  Having 
discovered  three  of  our  permanent  Chinese  clerks — ^men  whose 
salaries  appear  in  the  Downing  Street  accounts — engaged  in  tak- 
ing illicit  fees  from  a  Chinese  suitor,  I  turned  them  off;  and,  with, 
the  sanction  of  the  then  Consul,  Mr.  Macgregor,  had  a  printed 
official  notice  posted  throughout  Canton,  (a  city  containing  from 
seven  hundred  thousand  to  a  million  of  inhabitants;)  whereby 
educated  men,  acquainted  with  native  public  business,  were  invited 
to  appear  as  competitors  for  the  vacant  posts.  The  salaries  were 
two  hundred  and  forty  dollars  a  year,  a  sum  which,  taking  into 
consideration  the  difference  in  the  style  of  living,  may  be  about 
equivalent  to  £200  a  year  in  England.  That  was  not  much;  but 
the  number  of  educated  men  whom  the  National  Examinations 
call  into  existence  is  so  great  that,  in  spite  of  the  stigma  which 
rested  then,  still  more  than  it  now  does,  on  Chinese  serving  in  the 
barbarian  fiEustories,  some  did  make  their  appearance  among  the 
forty  or  fifty  competitors  who  came  forward  within  the  few  days 
to  which  I  limited  my  Examinations.  I  saw  each  candidate 
separately,  and  commenced  his  examination  by  placing  before  him 
an  Imperial  pre&ce  to  one  of  the  Sacred  Books ;  which  I  desired 
him  to  explain  to  me  sentence  by  sentence  and,  in  portions,  word 
for  word.  As  these  prefaces  touch  historically  and  descriptively 
on  the  contents  of  the  works  to  which  they  are  prefixed,  a  man, 
ignorant  of  literature  and  literary  history,  could  not  go  through 
two  pages  of  them  without  grossly  exposing  himself;  and  I  was, 
by  this  test  alone,  enabled  to  divide  the  competitors  i*apidly  into 
three  classes,  viz. : — ^first,  well  educated  and  well  read  men,  whose 
acquaintance  with  the  literature  in  all  respects  vastly  exceeded  my 
own ;  secondly,  men  not  equal  to  myself  in  some  points,  though 
superior  in  others ;  and  lastly,  a  number  of  more  or  less  illiterate 
fellows,  who  came  in  the  hope  of  imposing  by  high  pretensions  on  the 


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PREFACE.  XXUl 

presmned  utter  ignorance  of  the  barbarian.  It  was  an  amufiement 
to  the  Chinese  abont  the  establishment,  to  watch  the  crest-Mien 
air  with  which  these  men  came  out  of  my  office, — some  of  them  in 
high  po-^nration  from  their  wild  plunging  about  in  an  Imperial 
prefiftce.  I  took  the  address  of  every  competitor ;  summoned  those 
of  the  firat  class,  of  whom  there  were  only  five  or  six,  to  two  or 
three  additional  and  more  extensive  examinations;  and  ultimately 
fldecied  three  men,  who  were  perfect  strangers,  not  only  to  myself, 
bat  to  every  Chinese  in  the  Victories.  Of  course,  this  totally  tm- 
precederUed  procedure  on  my  part  raised  both  ridicule  and  repro- 
bation among  a  certain  class  of  my  countrymen ;  but  I  gained  my 
object.  T  got  better  men  about  me  than  had  ever  been  employed 
in  the  ftctories  before;  and  it  is  worthy  of  note  that  that  man, 
whom,  esteeming  him  intellectually  the  ablest,  I  selected  for  the 
meet  important  work,  proved  on  longer  acquaintance  to  be  morally 
higher  than  perhaps  any  other  Chinese  whose  character  and  conduct 
I  have  had  opportunities  of  closely  and  frequently  observing  :  he 
never  smoked  opium,  was  a  thorough  believer  in^  and  unflinching 
defimder  of  the  Confucian  philosophy  and  morality,  and  endea- 
vonied  to  square  his  conduct  with  his  principles.  At  other  periods 
I  held  two  similar  examinations;  but  these  were  to  procure  men 
for  private,  not  officially  paid  clerkships. 

From  the  particidars  detailed,  the  reader  will  perceive  that,  in 
the  matter  of  Competitive  Examinations,  whether  my  opinions  are 
fioond  or  not^  they  are  the  result  of  much  thought  based  on  some 
personal  practice,  and  on  the  great  spectacle  of  the  Chinese  National 
Examinations  going  on  before  my  eyes.  I  had  a  plan  for  British 
Competitive  Examinations  written  out  in  1846  ;  and  it  was  only 
a  Bpecidl  circumstance  that  prevented  its  being  sent  home  for 
publication  with  the  MSS.  of  the  "  Desultory  Notes."  Since  that, 
the  anbject  has  often  occupied  my  thoughts ;  and,  during  the  last 
two  years,  I  have  naturally  observed  the  progress  of  ourCivU  Service 
and  Military  Examinations  with  very  great  interest.  Our  young 
system,  if  such  the  several  unconnected  examinations  can  be  called, 
is  &r  from  having  reached  that  stage  which  was  sketched  in  my 
plan  of  1846;  but  on  every  side  I  see  cheering  signs  of  a  gradual 
approach  to  it.  Some  permanent  heads  of  departments,  impelled 
either  by  a  wish  to  promote  the  general  national  interests,  or  by 

c2 


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XXIV  PREFACE. 

an  honourable  desire  to  bring  their  own  special  branch  of  the  Service 
to  the  highest  possible  efficiency,  are  deserving  the  gratitude  of 
future  generations  by  earnest  and  steady  exertions  in  the  matter ; 
the  most  influential  portion  of  the  press  has  distinctly  taken  it  up; 
and  the  nation,  when  it  shall  have  become  more  enlightened  by  its 
prolonged  discussion,  will  assuredly  not  fail  to  insist  on  the  com- 
plete establishment  of  an  Institution  by  which  the  management  of 
its  executive  affairs  will  be  unerringly  committed  to  the  best  in- 
telligence of  the  country.  The  thing  has  merely  become  a  question 
of  time:  so  surely  as  we  now  have  a  uniform  penny  postage, 
after  various  stages  of  old  systems  of  four-penny,  six-penny  and 
shilling  rates, — so  surely  will  we  work  our  way  to  a  uniform 
system  of  strictly  impartial  and  strictly  competitive  Public  Service 
Examinations,  for  every  branch  of  the  Executive.  This  will  be 
the  case  with  respect  to  the  British  Isles ;  and,  in  so  far  as  they 
are  concerned,  I  might  spare  myself  the  labour  of  writing.  But  the 
Union  of  the  Empire,  by  the  extension  of  such  a  system  of  Ex- 
aminations to  the  colonies,  is  a  measure  of  vastly  greater  moment ; 
and  it  is  one  which,  if  steps  are  not  taken  within  the  next  few 
years  to  effect  it,  will,  I  fear,  become  impossible  of  execution :  the 
elements  of  disunion  between  the  colonies  and  the  mother  country 
will  have  quietly  gained  so  much  strength  that  union  will  have 
become  impracticable.  The  following  statement  of  definitions^ 
principles,  and  leading  regulations  is  my  present  contribution  to 
the  discussion  of  the  subject : — 

§  1.  By  the  colonies  is  meant  only  those  whose  climate  renders 
them  capable  of  maintaining  a  population  of  European  descent  in 
undegeneracy  of  race  ;  and  more  especially  the  colonies  of  British 
North  America,  Southern  Africa,  Australia,  Van  Dieman^s  Land, 
and  New  Zealand.  If  we  can,  by  mental  agencies,  succeed  in 
making  these  large  regions,  with  their  inhabitants  present  and 
future,  integral  portions  of  one  great  British  Empire, — considering 
themselves  as  much  such  as  now  do  Cornwall  and  Cumberland, 
Inverness  and  Londonderry, — then  we  shall  have  little  difficulty  in 
holding  British  India  and  such  small  possessions  or  military  sta- 
tions as  Hong-kong,  the  Mauritius,  St.  Helena  and  the  Bermudas, 
against  the  aggressions  of  any  nation  now  existing,  however 
powerful  such  nation  may  in  time  become.     I  say  nothing  of  our 


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PREFACE.  XXV 

West  Indian  possessions.  To  attempt  to  include  them  at  present, 
voold  raise  extremely  difficult  questions  connected  with  difference 
of  noe ;  and  I  doubt  if  it  will  ever  be  deemed  advisable  to  try  to 
make  any  tropical  r^on  an  integral  portion  of  a  homogeneous 
British  Empire. 

§  2.  The  persons  who  conduct  the  government  and  transact  the 
public  business  of  the  British  Empire  (t.  6.  the  whole  of  its  govern- 
ment penond)  &11  into  three  great  bodies,  the  Legislative,  the 
Judicial  and  the  Executive,  by  which  latter  term  is  understood 
collectively  all  members  of  the  government  persond  not  included 
in  the  first  two.  With  the  Legislative  and  Judicial  bodies,  the 
proposed  Public  Service  Examinations  have  nothing  whatsoever  to 
do.  With  all  the  fiskults  that  they  have  had  and  may  still  retain, 
it  is  to  our  Houses  of  Parliament,  our  Juries,  our  Bench  and  our 
Bar  that  England  owes  her  freedom  and  her  greatness,  and  the 
present  writer  would  be  among  the  most  prompt  to  join  in  resist- 
ing attempts  to  introduce  organic  changes  into  them.  The  Bar 
has  b^fon  to  improve  itself  by  examinations  ;  and,  indirectly,  all 
these  Institutions  would  be  benefited  by  the  Executive  or  Public 
Service  Examinations ;  both  because  of  the  promotion  of  education 
and  enlightenment  generally,  and  because  one  chief  text-book  of  the 
first,  or  lowest  of  the  Examinations  would  be  a  highly  paid  for 
prize  essay  on  the  general  functions  of  these  Institutions,  and  on 
the  modes  in  which  they  operate  to  preserve  the  freedom,  and  pro- 
mote the  greatness  of  the  nation.  The  effect  would  be,  to  attach 
all  the  inhabitants  of  the  Empire  as  much  to  them  as  the  en- 
li^tened  portion  now  is.  Magistrates  should  be  included  in  the 
Judicial  Body ;  the  Police  Force,  on  the  other  hand,  in  the  Execu- 
tive Body. 

§  3.  The  whole  Executive  Body  is  capable  of  several  different 
classifications.  One  necessary  for  our  present  purpose  is  the  three- 
fold division  into  the  Local,  the  Provincial,  and  the  Imperial 
Executives. 

§  4.  The  Local  Executive  is  composed  of  those  persons  who  conduct 
and  transact  the  parish,  borough  and  county  government  and  busi- 
ness. It  should  in  the  first  instance  not  be  made  compulsory  on  the 
ai^inting  powers,  whoever  they  may  be,  to  appoint  only  people 
who  had  passed  one  or  more  of  the  Public  Service  Examinations. 


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XXVI  PREFACE. 

Should  that  hereafter  appear  to  the  cotmtry  to  be  expedient,  it 
could,  of  course,  easily  be  done  by  an  act  of  the  Legislature. 

§  5.  The  Provincial  Executive  is  composed  of  those  persons  who 
transact  the  executive  business  of  each  of  the  separately  legislating 
provinces  of  the  Empire,  viz.  the  British  Isles  (or,  in  some 
matters,  England,  Scotland  and  Ireland  separately  considered,) 
Canada,  New  Brunswick,  Nova  Scotia,  Prince  Edward's  Isle,  New- 
foundland, Cape  Colony,  (Capeland,)  New  South  Wales,  Victoria, 
South  Australia,  West  Australia,  Van  Dieman's  Land,  and  New 
Zealand.  The  Provincial  Executive  is  that  which  has,  in  each  of 
these  Provinces,  to  manage  its  own  general  affairs  as  distinguished 
from  its  county  and  parish  affairs,  but  which  has  no  connection 
with  the  affairs  of  any  other  province.  The  Provincial  Executive 
of  the  British  Isles,  for  instance,  consists  mainly  of  the  Customs 
and  Inland  Bevenue  Establishments,  the  Home  Office  with  all  the 
officials  appointed  by  it,  and  that  large  portion  of  the  Postal  Esta- 
blishment which  attends  only  to  the  post  offices  of  the  British  Isles. 
The  provincial  Executive  of  the  British  Isles  should  in  every 
case  be  taken  from  the  graduates  of  the  proposed  Examinations  ; 
and  the  Provincial  Executives  of  all  the  other  above-named  pro- 
vinces also,  unless, — what  is  very  unlikely, — ^their  respective  Legis- 
lative Bodies  objected.  The  Provincial  Executive  of  each  Province 
should  in  every  case  be  composed  of  either  children  or  wards  of 
people  permanently  settled  in  it,  and  be  paid  from  its  own  revenues. 

§  6.  The  Imperial  Executive  is  composed  of  those  persons  who 
transact  the  business  not  of  any  one  or  more  provinces,  but  of  the 
Empire  generally.  These  are  mainly  the  officers  of  the  Inter- 
national Service  (i,  e,  the  Diplomatic  and  Consular,  see  page  592), 
and  those  of  the  Navy  and  Army,  together  with  the  officials  of 
the  Central  Imperial  Offices  which  rule  the  preceding,  viz.  the 
Foreign  Office,  the  Admiralty,  the  Ministry  of  War  and  the  Horse 
Guards.  To  the  Imperial  Executive  belong  also  the  Treasury,  the 
Pay  Office  and  Audit  Office, — all  Offices,  in  short,  which  con- 
trol the  salaries  and  expenses  of  the  other  branches  of  the  Imperial 
Executive.  Also  the  Colonial  Office,  together  with  the  representa- 
tives of  the  Imperial  Sovereign,  in  aU  the  colonies,  i,e,  the 
Governors  and  one  or  two  of  the  higher  officials;  and  aS  the 
officials  of  those  smaller  colonies,  which,  having  no  independent 


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PREFACE.  XXvii 

LegtsUtureoy  b&Te  not  the  rank  of  Provinces  in  the  sense  here 
used — where  the  posts  depend  altogether  on  the  Colonial  Office. 

In  the  following  sections,  it  is  the  Imperial  Executive,  as  here 
defined,  that  is  referred  to,  except  where  the  other  executives  are 
expfeadj  mentioned. 

§  7.  The  Imperial  Executive  consists  of  two  parts,  the  Political 
and  the  Permanent.  The  Political,  which  is  and  must  remain  the 
dominant,  is  that  which  dianges  with  every  change  of  Ministry  : 
the  Permanent  only  changes  or  loses  its  members  from  causes  con- 
nected with  those  members  as  individuals.  The  highest  members 
of  the  Imperial  Permanent  Executive  are  the  Permanent  Under 
SecretarieB  of  State  in  the  Foreign  and  Colonial  Offices,  and  similar 
Officers  in  the  other  great  Imperial  Offices. 

§  S.  All  members  of  the  Imperial  Permanent  Executive  are  to 
be  taken  from  the  highest  graduates  of  the  Public  Service  Exami- 
nations ;  who  will  pass  the  whole  series  of  the  Examinations  before 
they  are  draughted,  by  lot,  into  the  lowest  vacancies  of  that  branch 
for  which  they  have  respectively  passed.  The  only  exceptions  to 
this  rule  will  be  the  naval  cadets  and  junior  masters'  assistants  ; 
for  whom  there  wiU  be  a  special  series  of  Examinations  :  it  being 
necessary  that  those  who  are  destined  for  a  naval  life  should  begin 
it  when  very  young.  Naval  surgeons  and  pursers  are,  before 
receiving  their  first  appointments,  to  go  through  the  full  series  of 
Examinations  in  the  same  manner  as  the  other  members  of  the 
Executive ;  but  with  the  exception  of  these,  it  must  be  understood 
that  the  sea-going  Naval  Executive  is  not  referred  to  in  what 
foDows.  All  those  posts,  Civil  and  Military,  of  British  India  which 
it  shall  otherwise  be  deemed  proper  to  reserve  for  British  subjects 
of  European  race,  to  be  in  like  manner  fiUed  by  the  highest  graduates 
of  the  Public  Service  Examinations,  ie.  these  latter  to  constitute,  in 
so  &r,  the  East  India  Company^s  Examinations.  It  will  be  seen 
hereafter  that  the  constitution  of  the  Examinations  is  such  that  it 
would  be  no  inconvenience  (i.  e.  in  nowise  interfere  with  their  chief 
object)  if  coloured  natives  of  the  East  and  West  Indies  were 
admitted  as  Competitors,  with  a  view  to  their  filling  as  many  posts 
in  these  two  territories  as  might  be  decided  on  by  the  Legislatures. 

§  9.  As  the  members  of  the  Political  Executive  are  also  mem- 
bers of  the  Legislative  or  Judicial  Bodies,  and  as  it  is  a  part  of  the 
plan  that  it  should  not  interfere  with  these  bodies  (§  2),  it  follows 


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XXVIU  PREFACE. 

their  appoiutment  (and  that  of  their  prmUe  Secretaries)  must  in 
nowise  be  affected  by  the  Examinations.  Any  officials  who  may 
have  hitherto  been  changed  with  the  Ministry,  bnt  who  belong 
neither  to  the  Legislative  nor  the  Judicial  Body,  should  cease  to 
be  so  changed,  and  should  be  subjected  to  all  the  rules  for  the 
Permanent  Executive. 

§  10.  In  the  mixed  British  Constitution  there  are  two  great 
antagonistic  elements :  the  monarchic  and  the  democratia  The 
monarchic  is  the  element  of  stability  and  union :  the  democratic 
is  the  element  of  change  and  separation.  The  Sovereign  and 
the  Permanent  Executives  are  the  visible  representatives  of  the 
monarchic  element :  the  people,  the  House  of  Commons,  and  the 
Ministry  are  the  representatives  of  the  democratic  element.  (The 
House  of  Lords  and  the  Judicial  Body  side  sometimes  with  the 
one  element,  sometimes  with  the  other.)  In  the  Colonial  Provinces 
the  elected  Legislatures  and  the  Provincial  Ministries  represent  the 
democratic  element.  From  all  this  it  follows  that  measures 
specially  intended  to  ensure  the  union  of  the  Empire  must  be 
effected  through  the  Permanent  Executive, — the  representative  of 
monarchical  stability  and  unity.  To  give  to  prominent  mem- 
bers of  colonial  parliaments  high  posts  in  the  Imperial  Permanent 
Executive,  would  be  on  the  one  hand  a  premium  on  agitation 
among  colonial  seekers  of  places,  and  on  the  other  a  cause  of  dis- 
gust among  the  inhabitants  of  the  colonial  provinces,  who  would 
believe  their  provincial  interests  betrayed  :  it  would  produce  dis- 
affection and  separation. 

§  11.  The  essential  feature  of  the  plan  for  securing  the  lasting 
union  of  the  British  Empire  is  that  the  members  of  each  larger 
branch  of  the  Imperial  Permanent  Executive  are  to  be  selected 
from  all  the  thirteen  provinces  specified  in  §  5,  in  proportion  to  the 
number  of  their  inhabitants,  and  with  the  help  of  Competitive 
Examinationa  Thus,  taking  the  whole  population  of  the  British 
Isles  at  28,000,000,  that  of  Canada  at  1,200,000,  and  that  of  Nova 
Scotia  (with  Cape  Breton)  at  200,000 ;  then,  the  proportion  being 
as  144  :  6 :  1,  the  plan  requires  that,  for  every  144  vacancies  in 
the  Diplomatic  and  Consular  Services,  in  the  Army,  and  in  the 
respective  Chief  Offices  in  London,  filled  by  natives  of  the  British 
Isles,  there  shall  be  six  filled  with  Canadians  and  one  with  a  Nova 
Scotian.     And  so  of  the  other  Colonial  Provinces. 


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PREFACE.  XXIX 

§  12.  In  discossing  the  Improvement  of  tlie  Executive,  tliree 
matters  require  to  be  clearly  distinguished,  viz. : — 

(a)  The  Method  of  selection  for  first  appointment  to  a  govern- 
ment post,  or  the  Method  of  Appointment. 

(b)  The  Method  of  selecting  persons  for  advancement  from 
among  those  who  have  already  served  some  time,  or  the  Method  of 
PnNnotion. 

(c)  The  Method  of  conducting  the  business  of  the  various 
departments  and  offices. 

§  13.  The  proposed  PubUc  Service  Examinations  are  intended 
to  coDstitute  the  decisive  feature  of  the  Method  of  Appointment. 
So  hr  as  anything  human  can  be  absolute,  they  would  secure  abso- 
lute impartiality;  and,  at  the  same  time,  guard  so  much  against 
exTois  of  judgment  on  the  part  of  the  Examiners  that  it  would 
really  be  the  ablest  of  the  candidates  who  would  be  passed.  In 
China,  when  that  country  is  in  its  normal  state,  a  very  great 
degree  of  impartiality  is  attained ;  but  we,  with  all  our  appliances 
of  material  civilisation,  with  short-hand  Examination  reporters  to 
aid  the  Examiners,  and  with  our  free  press  to  watch  over  them, 
shall  be  able  to  elaborate  a  system  of  Examinations  in  the  perfect 
impartiality  and  unfailing  accuracy  of  which,  every  scholar  through- 
oat  the  Empire  would  place  implicit  reliance,  and  exert  himself 
aooordingly.  The  following  sections  give  a  general  idea  of  their 
nature. 

$  14.  The  Examinations  to  be  of  three  kinds,  viz.  District,  Pro- 
vincial, and  Special,  and  all  to  be  held  annually. 

§  15.  The  District  Examinations  to  be  held  for  counties  or 
groups  of  counties^  as  might  best  suit  the  density  of  population,  the 
means  of  locomotion,  &c,  &c.  As  the  number  of  persons  who 
passed,  and  who  would  be  called  District  Graduates  (D.  G.),  would 
be  proportioned  to  the  number  of  inhabitants,  it' would,  of  course, 
not  affect  the  impartialityof  the  system,  if,  in  fixing  the  boundaries 
of  the  Examination  Districts,  one  embraced  more  inhabitants  than 
another.  No  limit  to  be  set  to  the  numbers  who  may  choose  to 
attend  these  District  Examinations ;  but  the  candidates  to  be  in 
evoy  case  either  natives  of  the  District  or  brought  up  there  by 
parents  or  guardians  who  had  permanently  settled  in  it ;  and  all 
candidates  to  have  completed  their  sixteenth  and  not  entered  their 


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XXX  PREFACE. 

nineteenth  year.  With  respect  to  moral  character,  there  should  be 
no  positive  tests  whatever.  Certificates  will  (as  every  one  knows 
who  has  had  experience  of  them)  never  keep  out  bad  characters  ; 
while  they,  on  the  other  hand,  from  being  often  dishonestly  or 
carelessly  given,  do,  to  a  certain  extent,  the  serious  mischief  of 
whitening  black  sheep.  The  best  security  is  to  give,  to  the  candid 
dates  generally,  the  right  to  object  to  a  disreputable  character  being 
examined  with  them.  A  number  of  young  men,  with  a  sense  of 
responsibility  upon  them,  would  never  be  found  uniting  to  persecute 
an  irreproachable  man ;  while  it  is  found  in  China  that  they  will 
unitedly  object  to  their  examination  being  sulHed  by  the  presence 
of  improper  people.  The  only  valid  grounds  of  objection  to  be 
crimes  or  disreputable  acts  committed  by  the  person  himself. 

The  qualifications  for  passing  these  District  Examinations  to  be 
physical  as  well  as  intellectual.  In  running  and  in  muscular  power^ 
all  candidates  to  pass  a  sufficing  (not  competitive)  examination,  the 
degrees  of  power  required,  to  vary  with  the  exact  age  and  height 
of  each  candidate,  and  to  be  sufficiently  high  to  test  the  existence 
of  sound  lungs  and  limbs.  These  degrees  should  be  carefully  fixed 
for  all  the  Empire,  by  a  commission  of  surgeons,  after  very  extensive 
experiments  on  young  people  of  seventeen  and  eighteen  yeais  of 
age.  The  examinations  in  seeing  and  hearing  to  be  competitive. 
The  mental  qualifications  not  to  be  high.  The  graduates  should 
be  good  copyists,  should  be  able  to  write  from  dictation,  i,e,  be 
good  speUers,  quick  at  arithmetic  and  perfectly  acquainted  with 
some  simple  text-books  on  the  history  and  geography  of  the  world 
and  of  the  British  Empire  in  particular, — above  all,  with  a  text- 
book on  British  Institutions,  Imperial  and  Provincial,  such  as  is 
described  in  §  2.  The  number  of  candidates  allowed  to  pass  the 
District  Examinations  annually,  would  have  to  be  finally  regu- 
lated by  experience.  In  the  first  instance,  the  proportion  of 
District  Graduates  to  Government  vacancies  might  be  fixed  at 
two  hundred  to  one.  The  one  hundred  and  ninety-nine  who  either 
did  not  attend,  or  failed  to  pass  the  next  higher  examination 
would  find  their  diploma  of  D.  G.  very  useful  to  them  in  getting 
employment  in  non-official  life.  And  the  men  employed  to  do 
what  Sir  Stafford  Northcote  and  Sir  C.  Trevelyan  have  named  the 
mechanical  work  of  public  offices,  might  be  taken  from  these 


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PREFACE.  yyvi 

Distnct  Gndu&tes.     So  employed,  they  would  constitute  the  non- 
oomndaaioDed  officers  of  the  civil  branches  of  the  Execntive. 

{16.  The  Proyincial  Examinations  to  be  held  at  the  Capitals 
of  tbe  Plroyiuoes  enumerated  in  §  £f.  Only  District  Qraduates  of 
the  same  Pnmnoe,  and  above  sixteen  but  under  twenty-one  years 
of  age,  to  be  received  as  candidates  at  each  of  these  examinations; 
and  the  ooUeetive  body  to  have  the  same  right  of  objection  as 
befine  to  a  notoriously  bad  character.  But  the  Graduates  who  had 
&iled  to  pass  at  previous  Provincial  Examinations  not  to  be 
exduded.  Much  higher  qualifications  to  be  required  at  these,  than 
at  ihe  District  Examinations  :  all  the  qualifications,  in  short,  which 
are  expected  in  an  able  and  a  well  (though  not  professionally) 
educated  young  man, — ^with  the  exception  of  the  dead  languages 
which  till  now  have  been  expected.  No  foreign  language,  either 
aneient  or  modem,  to  be  requisite  for  this  Examination ;  but  the 
passing  to  be  made  to  depend  very  much  on  the  greatest  mastery 
of  the  Knglifth  language  in  (prose)  composition  and  in  niftlriTig  of 
abstracts.  All  the  candidates  would,  as  District  Graduates,  be 
acquainted  with  the  essential  features  of  the  British  Constitution. 
Ihey  akould  now  be  required  to  know  the  philosophy  of  govern- 
ment and  l^islation ; — ^to  know,  for  instance,  the  peculiar  virtues 
and  vices  of  the  extreme  types,  extreme  autocracy,  and  extreme 
democracy;  and  the  general  principles  which  should  guide  legis- 
lators in  penal  and  civil  legislation.  In  order  to  know  this,  an 
acquaintance  would  be  necessary  with  the  body  of  generally 
accepted  doctrines  of  psychology  and  morality.  They  should  also 
know  generally  the  nature  of  the  positive  criminal  and  civil  laws 
of  the  British  Empire  ;  and  something  of  the  rules  of  giving  and 
weighing  evidence.  Lastly,  they  should  know  the  general  prin- 
ciples of  political  economy.  The  extent  to  which  they  should  be 
acquainted  with  each  of  these  several  subjects  cannot  be  accurately 
defined  without  some  experience.  But  in  every  case  the  examina- 
fcioDs  should  be  limited  to  special  text-books  for  each  subject, — the 
nsolts  of  prizes  offered  for  essays  where  no  good  treatise  existed, — 
andtiien,as  those  who  knew  most  would  rank  highest,  there  would 
be  no  difficulty  about  starting  the  system.  The  object  of  this 
description  of  knowledge  is  to  produce  homogeneity  of  fundamental 
betiefii  on  man*s  duties  towards,  and  dealings  with  man,  throughout 


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XXXll  PBEFACE. 

every  portion  of  the  wid&-spread  British  Empire ;  to  make  all  her 
people  intelligently  attached  to  her  InstitutionB ;  and  to  fit  them  all 
— ^non-officials  as  well  as  officials — to  aid  better  in  the  working  of 
those  Institutions,  whether  in  the  witness-box  or  on  the  jury,  as  elec- 
tors or  as  members  of  parliament.  The  candidates  at  the  Provincial 
Examinations  should  also  be  acquainted  with  political  and  physical 
geography,  more  especially  the  former  ;  with  the  general  history  of 
all  nations;  more  in  detail  with  the  history  of  the  British  Empire  ; 
and,  as  an  intellectual  exercise,  with  the  first  ^yq  books  of  EucHd. 
At  the  outset,  the  annual  number  of  Provincial  Graduates  might  be 
fixed  at  twenty  times  the  number  of  Crovemment  vacancies.  Only 
the  experience  of  some  years,  as  to  the  results  and  effects  of  the 
Examinations  for  society  and  for  the  public  service,  can  tell  us  the 
proportion  which  should  be  finally  fixed  on. 

§  17.  The  Special  Examinations  to  be  held  in  London.  Only 
Provincial  Graduates  above  eighteen  and  under  twenty-three  years 
of  age  to  be  admitted.  The  same  right  of  objection  to  be  allowed 
the  collective  body.  Previous  failures  to  pass  not  to  form  a  cause 
of  exclusion.  On  the  first  occasion  of  each  Provincial  Graduate 
attending  the  Special  Examinations,  his  expenses  (from  his  Province 
to  the  Imperial  Capital,  while  staying  at  the  latter  place  during  the 
Examinations,  and  back  to  his  province  again,)  to  be  paid  out  of 
the  public  revenue  of  that  province.  In  the  case  of  colonies  being, 
for  the  first  few  years,  too  poor  to  do  this  (as  possibly  New  Zealand), 
they  should  receive  the  necessary  aid  from  the  public  I'evenues  of 
the  British  Isles  :  the  free  passage,  <bc.,  being  absolutely  necessary 
to  the  working  of  the  whole  system.  The  Special  Examinations 
would,  as  their  name  indicates,  test  the  qualifications  for  each 
special  division  and  (larger)  subdivison  of  the  Imperial  Permanent 
Executive,  as  also  of  the  Provincial  Permanent  Executive  of  the 
British  Isles  and  of  those  other  Provinces  whose  Legislatures  may 
choose  to  make  these  Examinations  the  basis  of  appointment.  The 
International  Service  falls  naturally  into  four  great  subdivisions, 
among  which  there  would  be  no  interchanges  of  officers,  as  each 
requires  special  kinds  of  knowledge.  The  subdivisions  are  based 
partly  on  religion,  partly  on  language. 

The  first  would  include  the  Diplomatic  and  Consular  Service  in 
Teutonic  or  Scandinavian  and  Protestant  States,  as  the  United 


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PBEFACE.  XXXIU 

SUtea^  CSermanyy  Holland,  Denmark,  and  Sweden.  In  this  class 
tiie  Intemational  Service  in  Russia  might  be  placed. 

The  second  would  include  the  Service  in  Komanic  and  Komanist 
States,  as  France,  Belgium,  Spain,  (Manilla  and  Cuba,)  Portugal,  the 
Ttrious  States  of  South  America,  and  the  Italian  States. 

The  third  would  include  the  Service  in  all  the  Mohammedan 
States  of  Northern  Africa,  also  in  Arabia,  Persia,  Syria  and  Euro- 
pean Torkej ;  and  in  it  the  members  of  the  Service  in  Greece 
might  be  pbfcoed. 

The  fourth  would  include  the  Service  in  the  States  of  Eastern 
Asia  in  which  Con^cianism  is  the  chief  social  and  political  basis, 
viz.  the  Chinese  Empire,  Japan,  Siam,  Cochin  China  and  Corea. 

AU  International  Officers  should  be  able  to  read  French  and 
German ;  bnt  while  those  of  the  first  subdivision  should  speak 
French  fluently  as  the  diplomatic  language,  they  should  be  maetera 
of  G^man  in  its  most  familiar,  its  scientific,  and  its  ethical  as  well 
as  its  more  diplomatic  styles  and  phraseology,  and  they  should  also 
know  Swedish  and  Bussian.  Jf  these  Competitive  Examinations 
veie  in  operation  for  a  few  years,  many  more  young  men  of  twenty- 
two  than  could  be  employed,  would  be  found  in  full  possession  of 
that  amount  of  philological  knowledge,  and  at  the  same  time  quite 
at  home  in  international  law  and  in  the  religious  and  moral  state 
(the  fundamental  beliefs),  the  history,  geography,  &c.,  of  the 
countries  for  which  their  subdivision  of  the  Service  was  intended. 

A  reading  knowledge  of  the  German  would  be  sufficient  for  the 
second  class,  who  should  on  the  other  hand  be  thorough  masters  of 
French,  and  proficients  in  Spanish,  Italian  and  Portuguese. 

What  languages  the  officers  of  the  third  and  fourth  subdivisions 
should  be  specially  proficient  in,  is  obvious. 

It  is  a  very  important  rule,  that  in  fixing  on  the  kind  of  qualifi- 
cations in  which  a  particular  subdivision  of  the  Permanent  Execu- 
tive should  compete,  we  should  keep  in  mind  whcU  vnll  he  dwecUy 
uerfuL  to  %U  members  in  business,  not  what  it  has  been  customary 
hitherto  for  ^^  well  educated  men"  to  learn.  View  the  subject  as  I 
may,  I  am  forced  to  conclude  that  study  of  Greek  and  Latin,  by 
any  subdivision,  would  be  time  wasted.  (See  page  564.)  For 
eveiy  subdivision,  there  are  kinds  of  knowledge  which,  while  tending 
equally  with  Greek  and  Latin  to  mental  cultivation,  have  the  great 


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XXXIV  PREFACE. 

additional  merit  of  being  practically  nsefbl ;  while,  on  the  other 
hand,  every  subdivision,  if  compelled  to  devote  years  to  the  acquire- 
ment of  a  competing  knowledge  of  these  dead  languages,  would 
have  to  abstain  from  learning  something  which  is  indispensable  to 
efficient  Tntemational  Agents. 

Again,  with  reference  to  the  above  rule,  it  is  clear  that  while 
diplomatists  should  confine  their  attention  to  a  few  languages,  in 
order  to  attain  a  thorough  mastery  of  them  both  as  to  reading  and 
speaking,  pursers  of  the  navy  should,  on  the  other  hand,  endeavour 
to  attain  a  limited  mercantile  knowledge  of  the  greatest  possible 
number  of  languages.  The  same  holds,  though  in  a  lesser  degree, 
of  a  certain  amount  of  knowledge  of  as  many  languages  as  possible 
on  the  part  of  naval  and  military  officers  generally ;  provided  such 
knowledge  is  in  addition  to  the  essential  professional  qualifications 
expected  in  them.  But  in  the  competitions  for  the  staff  subdi- 
visions of  the  army,  a  great  proficiency  in  French  and  German  at 
least,  should  be  made  to  tell  considerably  in  the  passing,  as  these 
officers  have  at  times  to  carry  on  military  negotiations. 

All  candidates  for  the  mounted  departments  of  the  army  should 
pass  a  gaffidng  examination  in  horsemanship,  t.6.  have  to  ride  over 
a  fixed  tract  of  country  more  or  less  rough, — say  over  a  staked 
course  on  Aldershott.  And  all  candidates  should  pass  a  sifficmg 
examination,  proportioned  to  their  ages  and  size,  in  running,  and 
lifting  and  throwing  weights, — as  at  the  District  Examinations.  It 
has  quite  astonished  me  to  read  the  amount  of  nonsense  that  has 
been  uttered  about  '^  pale  &oed  students,"  in  the  discussions  on 
Examinations.  Physical  qualities  are  more  easily  tested  than  the 
intellectual.  And  as  every  really  good  measure  brings  with  it 
collateral  benefits,  so  the  plan  now  proposed  would  have  the 
effect  of  inducing  great  numbers  of  young  men  (and  their  parents) 
to  pay  much  more  attention  to  their  health  than  they  otherwise 
would.  I  know  that  the  MiUtary  Examinations  ia  China  have 
that  effect,  though  they  are  otherwise  of  little  value,  because  not 
requiring  intellectual  military  acquirements. 

§  18.  In  the  original  arranging  and  subsequent  improving  of  the 
detailed  methods  of  examination,  it  should  be  steadily  kept  in  view 
that  the  first  object  is  to  guard  against  faults  of  feeling  and  of 
head  on  the  part  of  the  Examiners — against  emotional  partiality 


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PREFACE.  XXXY 

f 
And  intdlectiuJ  error.    Each  natorallj  distinct  qualification  should 

fonn  tbe  sabject  of  a  separate  examination ;  even  French  speaking 
and  inteipretingy  for  instance,  being  competed  in  apart  from  French 
teMwlatmg.  There  should  always  be  at  least  five  Examiners,  in  order 
tohaye  a  sufficient  security  against  indolence  or  against  idiosyncratic 
ecoentricity.  The  written  examinations  in  each  subject  should  be 
finished  before  the  oral  commence.  The  signatures  on  each  student's 
piper  should  be  completely  hidden  by  some  covering  sealed  over 
it,  and  have  a  number  attached  to  it.  All  should  then  be  passed 
into  a  room  of  copyists ;  Gre  copies  made  of  each  with  its  number; 
the  originab  laid  by ;  and  the  copies  only  handed  in  to  the  Examiners. 
The  Examination  Buildings  should  contain  five  separate  suits  of 
apartments,  each  composed  of  the  number  of  rooms,  <&c.  necessary 
for  the  comfortable  accommodation  of  an  Examiner,  and  wherein 
the  Examiners  should  be  shut  up,  without  possibility  of  communi- 
cation with  each  other  or  with  the  public,  till  each  had  fixed  the 
orders  of  the  papers  according  to  the  degree  of  their  excellence. 

The  following  will  give  an  idea  of  the  circumstances  under 
which  all  papers  should  be  prepared.  We  will  suppose  the  Exami- 
nation to  be  in  translating  from  French  into  .English  and  from 
English  into  French.  As  this  would  be  one  of  those  attended  by 
the  greatest  number  of  candidates,  the  latter  could  be  divided  into 
two  or  three  sets  by  lot.  •  As  many  as  the  Examination  Hall  could 
accommodate  should  be  let  into  it  at  one  time,  and  each  candidate 
take  poaaession  of  one  of  the  boxes  into  which  the  whole  of  its  floor 
should  be  divided  These  boxes  should  have  sides  so  high  as  to 
prevent  the  candidates  communicating  with  each  other,  yet  leave 
the  motions  of  each  open  to  observation  from  a  gallery  running 
round  the  ^alL  Each  candidate  would  bring  his  own  ink  and  pens, 
but  would  find  blank  paper  on  the  desk  in  his  box.  Each  would  there 
alao  find,  in  a  closed  envelope,  the  two  papers  which  were  to  be  trans- 
kted.  These  would  be  selected  by  lot  in  the  morning  in  the 
Examiners'  common  room  from  various  books>  and  would  each  con- 
sist  of  a  page  or  two  on  different  subjects.  As  soon  as  selected, 
as  many  copies  would  be  piinted  in  the  Examiner's  room  as  there 
were  candidates,  and  then  closed  in  the  envelopes, — the  printers 
not  being  allowed  to  leave  till  the  last  set  of  candidates  had  finished 
their  translations.  Each  candidate  on  entering  his  box  would  hold 
up  the  envelope  above  his  head  till  all  were  placed,  when,  on  a  bell 


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XXXVl  PBEFACE, 

being  struck,  each  would  open  his  enyelox)e  and  set  to  work,  the 
time  of  commencement  being  publicly  announced  and  noted.  As 
each  candidate  finished  his  translations^  he  would  sign  them,  seal 
the  cover  over  his  name  and  then  proceed  from  his  box  to,  and  put 
them  through,  a  hole  in  the  wall,  of  which  there  should  be  one  at 
the  end  of  all  the  aisles  between  the  boxes.  At  each  of  these 
holes,  on  the  other  side  of  the  wall,  would  be  officials  who  under 
public  eye  would  write  the  hour  and  minute  on  each  paper.  At 
the  end  of  an  amply  sufficient  time,  all  the  papers,  whether  finished 
or  unfinished,  should  be  put  through  the  holes ;  and  the  whole 
number  taken  to  the  copyist's  halL  The  second  set  of  candidates 
would  be  admitted  as  soon  as  the  Hall  was  prepared  as  for  the 
first ;  and,  as  two  hours  would  be  quite  enough  to  allow  for  each 
set,  in  one  day  the  whole  of  the  candidates'  work  in  this  French 
examination  would  be  done.  That  of  the  Examiners  would  com- 
mence so  soon  as  the  first  copies  were  handed  into  them,  and  might 
continue  for  two  or  three  days.  But  practice  in  the  work  would 
enable  them  to  get  through  it  with  great  rapidity.  The  proper 
translations  of  each  task  would  be  agreed  upon  by  the  Examiners 
before  each  repaired  to  his  own  apartments,  and  the  business  of 
each  would  only  be  to  settle  which  papers  differed  least  from  it. 
As,  in  practice,  it  is,  in  ninety-nine  cases  out  of  a  hundred,  of  far 
greater  importance  that  a  translation  should  be  done  accurately 
than  rapidly,  the  time  would  only  be  considered  where  the  papers 
were,  in  point  of  accuracy,  alike.  And  i^  after  judgment  had  been 
passed  on  the  copies,  it  was  found  by  inspection  of  the  originab 
that  rapidity  had  been  attained  by  bad  writing,  then  a  more  than 
full  proportion  of  time  should  be  added, — bad  writing  being,  in 
practical  affairs,  very  objectionable. 

The  examination  in  speaking  and  interpreting  would  require 
much  more  of  the  Examiners'  time.  They  would  each  be  seated 
in  a  box  open  in  front.  On  one  side  of  a  table,  on  a  lower  level 
before  them,  would  be  a  Frenchman,  on  the  other  side  an  English- 
man. Between  these  two,  and  facing  the  Examiners,  each  candi- 
date would  seat  himself  and  interpret  a  fixed  set  of  questions  and 
answers  between  them.  The  two  interlocutors  would  speak  at  fixed 
intervals,  irrespective  of  the  candidate's  interpretations.  Every 
word  uttered  by  him  would  be  taken  down  by  the  Examination 
short-hand  writers ;  and  the  Examiners  would  each  make  notes  on 


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1*REFACE.  XXXVll 

t  piper  ^ik  that  caxidid&l^'s  number  on  it.   Either  before  or  after 
tbe  interpreting,  tixe  cchx^didate  would  have  to  read^  in  a  loud  voice, 
a  piEaage  &oxa  a  fVencli  book ; — ^tbe  Reporters  and  Examiners 
takmg  notes  as  Isefor^e.       On  the  printed  Eeports  and  on  his  own 
iwio^ea^  ^ixaxnixLefr  ^wonld  subsequently  make  out  his  list  of 
canffidaiea.    TYda  oral  Tlxamination  might  last  ten  or  twenty  days, 
•crarding  to  the  HTuiiber  of  the  candidates.    It  wonld,  therefore, 
^  TMooBBaiy  to  "haire  a  new  conversation^  and  a  new  passage  t6 
leul,  for  every  day,  (care  bdng,  of  course,  taken  that  they  should 
he  tilike  m  point  of  difficulty,)  as  it  would  be  impossible  to  keep 
OQft  eonveattLtion  and  passage  secret  beyond  a  single  day  from  the 
cui^dateBwho  vrere  to  be  examined.   After  each  sitting,  the  Exa- 
imnesA  Bhould  be  conducted  to  their  own  apartments,  and  should 
hold  no  oommunications  with  each  other  or  the  public  till  after 
making  oat  their  lists.    Altogether  the  written  and  oral  Examina- 
tions would  occupy  the  five  Examiners  in  French  for  several 
weeks^     In  China  the  Examiners  are  always  occupied  for  some 
aach  period.     But  the  candidates  would  each  only  be  occupied 
for  two  days ;   before  and  after  which  they  would  be  severally 
undergoing  the  other  Examinations,  appointed  for  that  subdivision 
of  the  Executive  which  they  competed  for. 

I  have  given  the  above  details  because  many  who  would  not 
otherwise  object  to  the  proposed  system  of  Examinations  give  up 
tlie  idea  of  instituting  them  because  they  cannot  conceive  how  it 
could  be  possible  in  practice  to  conduct  examinations  in  so  many 
difierent  qualifications  of  so  many  candidates.  It  is,  however,  evi- 
dent from  the  above  that,  after  two  or  three  years'  eixperience  and 
modification  of  details,  the  work  would  be  done  rapidly  and  with 
great  order  as  well  as  with  impartiality  and  accuracy.  As  every- 
thing would  be  printed  after  each  Examination,  the  Examiners 
axid  the  public  together  would  soon  discover  what  was,  with  refer- 
o&ce  to  each  qualification,  the  smallest  quantity  of  work  that 
would  afford  sufficient  scope  for  distinguishing  between  the  degrees 
of  proficiency  in  each  candidate,  as  also  how  to  get,  in  the  most 
i^wedy  way,  at  the  essentials  of  each  particular  branch  of  know- 
ledge. It  may  appear  to  some  readers  that  I  have  projected  an 
unnecessary  amount  of  precautions  to  secure  impartiality  on  the 
part  of  the  Examiners.    But  it  must  be  remembered  that  entrance 

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XXXVIU  PREFACE. 

to  the  Pablic  Offices  at  home,  to  the  Diplomatic  and  Consniar 
Services,  and  to  the  Army,  being  only  possible  through  these  Exa- 
minations, every  conceivable  agency  of  corruption  will  be  brought 
to  bear  on  the  Examiners,  and  that,  to  all  the  right-minded  amon^ 
them,  it  would  be  a  relief  to  be  put  beyond  every  suspicion.  Be- 
sides, we  have  to  guard  against  what  might  be  called  incorrupt, 
because  unconscious  impartialities  and  the  suspicion  of  them. 
When  a  small  proportion  only  of  Scotch  passed  at  one  of  our  recent 
examinations  (one  of  the  first  I  believe),  it  was  immediately 
pointed  out  that  there  were  no  Scots  among  the  Examiners. 

§  19.  As  I  understand  the  present  method  of  passing  candidates 
by  means  of  marks^  it  appears  to  me  to  involve  a  risk  of  oon* 
nderable  inaccuracy.  It  requires  the  Examiners  to  refer  to  an 
ianagmevry  standard.  Speaking  of  the  Indian  Civil  Service 
Examinations,  we  find,  for  instance,  ''  Composition "  put  down  at 
500,  and  we  hear  that  none  of  the  candidates  attained  this  highest 
number.  The  number  500  represents,  therefore,  some  imctginary 
degree  of  excellence,  the  conception  of  which  must  manifestly  vary 
considerably  in  the  minds  of  the  different  Examiners,  and  even  in 
the  mind  of  each  Examiner  at  different  times.  If  they  affix  their 
marks  separately,  there  is  certain  to  be  a  wide  range  in  those 
attached  to  one  paper.  My  plan  requires  no  comparison  of  a  real 
thing  with  an  imaginary  one,  but  of  one  (candidate's)  paper  with 
another.  Given  five  papers  of  really  different  degrees  of  excel- 
lence, it  is  easy,  by  comparing  and  reoomparing  them  with  each 
other,  to  number  them  1,  2,  3,  4  and  5  ;  and  there  will  be  little, 
if  any  difference  in  the  order  adopted  by  separately-judging 
Examiners.  In  all  this  matter,  we  should  never  foiget  what  is 
the  practical  object.  The  practical  object  is  to  select  yearly,  from 
the  young  men  who  present  themselves  for  examinations,  the 
required  fixed  number  of  ike  very  ablest.  Whether  or  not  the 
graduates  of  this  year  stand  higher  than  the  graduates  of  last  year, 
is  undoubtedly  an  interesting  question,  and  it  is  one  which  can 
be  solved.  But  it  is  not  the  practical  question,  and  can  hardly 
be  solved  during  each  year's  examinations.  It  is  extremely 
doubtful  if  the  judging  faculties  of  any  Examiners  {euppoting 
them  to  be  the  same  men)  would  remain  fi.*om  year  to  year 
sufficiently  consistent  to  enable  them  te  solve  it  directly;  and 


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PREFACE.  XXXIX 

that  18  much  reason  to  belieye  that  the  attempt  so  to  solve  it, 
worid  greatly  interfere  with  the  accurate  solution  of  the  really 
pictical  question.  When  the  year's  Examinations  were  closed, 
then  would  be  the  proper  time  to  ascertain,  by  a  direct  comparison 
of  this  year's  papers,  notes,  &c.  with  those  of  last  year,  which  had 
prodneed  the  ablest  graduates  in  each  qualification. 

§  20.  If  at  a  District  or  Provincial  Examination  twenty  candi- 
dates were  to  be  passed,  and  there  were  three  or  four  hundred 
candidates,  the  business  of  each  Examiner  (in  each  subject)  would 
be  to  make  cot  a  list  of  some  lesser  number  of  the  best, — say  forty 
or  fifty, — BO  as  to  allow  for  differences  of  judgment  between  him 
and  his  coUeagnesL  By  making  these  separate  lists  sufficiently 
extenatve  (in  which  experience  would  be  the  guide),  it  would 
always  occur  that  twenty  of  the  names  would  appear  in  aU  the 
five  lists,  though  they  might  not  occupy  the  same  positions  in  each. 
With  the  making  out  of  his  separcOe  listj  each  Examiner's  judging 
dvty  would  end.  The  making  out  of  the  a/Dcrage  Ust  from  the  five 
separate  lists,  would  depend  on  the  application,  to  the  latter,  of  a 
set  of  rules,  so  detailed  as  to  meet  all  possible  differences  in  the  posi- 
tion  of  the  names  in  them,  and  thus  leaving  nothing  to  opinion.  As 
an  the  papers,  kc,  and  the  separate  lists,  would  be  made  public, 
tke  Examiners  would  in  this  way  be  themselves  examined :  for  if 
it  should  be  found  that  any  one  Examiner  dififered  considerably  from, 
every  set  of  four  colleagues  with  whom  he  was  associated,  that 
would  prove  incapacity  or  indolence  on  his  part,  and  render  his 
HknniMM^I  a  matter  of  necessity. 

§  31.  In  the  Special  Examinations  each  separate  list  for  each 
subject  would  have  to  contain  aU  the  candidates.  As  I  have 
already  shown  in  the  case  of  the  French  language>,  different  divi- 
sions and  subdivisions  of  the  Executive  require  different  degrees  of 
excellenoeL  Further,  it  is  not  the  best  candidates  from  the  Empire 
collectively  taken,  but  a  certain  number  of  the  best  from  each 
province  that  are  wanted.  Experience  alone  could  show  whether 
the  average  UbU  for  eouh  quMficaiMn  at  the  Special  Examinations 
should  contain  the  whole  number  of  candidates  or  not.  The  sepsp 
nie  lists  being  there  in  full,  all  the  subsequent  operations,  up  to 
the  giving  of  the  diplomas  of  Special  Graduate  for  the  various  sub- 
divisioiis  of  the  Executive,  would  be  merely  the  application  of  sets 


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Zl  FBEFACE. 

of  fixed  rales  for  each  subdivision.  Before  the  Special  Examizni' 
tions  oommenoed,  each  candidate  would  announce  himself  as  stand- 
ing  for  a  particular  subdivision,  and  would  attend  that  group  of 
examinations  which  had  been  fixed  on  for  it.  After  the  general 
average  lists  were  made  out^  the  candidates  for  each  subdivision 
would  be  picked  out  from  it,  in  the  order  in  which  they  stood  ; 
and  would  then  constitute  a  special  Ust.  It  is  at  this  stage  that 
the  plan  of  giving  marks  might  be  employed  advantageously.  The 
highest  name  on  the  special  list  would  have  a  high  number  attached 
to  it,  the  second  a  smaller  nxmiber,  and  so  on  to  the  last,  in  propor- 
tion to  the  places  they  occupied  on  the  general  average  list.  How 
high  the  highest  number  should  be,  would  depend  on  the  greater  or 
lesser  importance  of  the  particular  qualification  for  that  special  sub- 
division of  the  Executive.  It  ia  by  the  inereamng  cmd  decreasing  of 
the  highest  vwrnhenrsfar  each  guodificaUonyfTom  yea^  to  year  as  expe- 
Hence  dictated,  that  the  Government  would  ha/oe  it  in  its  power,  to 
direct  the  efforts  of  the  yofuJth  qfihe  eomvtry  more  or  less  to  the  attain- 
ment of  different  qualifieations.  For  it  would  be  the  highest  total 
of  all  the  numbers  that  would  place  the  candidate  at  the  head  of  the 
Final  Special  list ;  in  other  words,  make  him  the  first  Special 
Graduate  for  his  subdivision  of  the  Executive  for  the  year,  and 
each  would  of  course  strive  to  attain  the  highest  place  on  that  pre- 
liminaxy  special  list  which  had  the  largest  numbers  given  to  it. 
The  preliminary  special  lists  for  the  first  subdivision  of  the  Intem&- 
tional  Executive  would  give  high  numbers  to  the  German  and 
French  qualifications ;  while  there  woidd  be  no  list  for  Spanish.  In 
the  second  subdivision,  a  very  high  series  of  numbers  would  be  at- 
tached to  the  French  list,  a  comparatively  low  one  to  the  German, 
and  there  would  be  no  Swedish  list.  For  all  subdivisions  of  the 
International  Executive  a  low  niimber  would  be  given  to  seeing 
&nd  hearing ;  while  for  all  subdivisions  of  the  Army  comparatively 
higher  numbers  would  be  attached  to  these  qualifications  (so  that 
no  officers  should  be  shot  or  taken  prisoners  from  short  sight),  and 
comparatively  lower  to  French  and  German  ;  the  highest  numbers 
being  reserved  for  professional  intellectual  qualifications. 

§  22.  Ab  there  are  in  each  subdivision  of  the  Executive,  initial 
posts  of  greater  and  lesser  desirability,  the  Special  Graduates  would 
bo  appointed  by  lot  as  the  vacancies  occurred ;  and  every  necessary 


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.  PREFACE.  xli 

pncMition  taken,  in  other  respects,  to  prerent  the  objects  of  the 
BuminatioiiB  beiiig  defeated  by  partiality  at  this  stage,  i,  e,  iq  the 
Method  of  Aj^pointment. 

^  13.  I  have  said  nothing  about  Universities,  High  Schools,  &e. 
The  pnctical  object  is  to  get  the  best  qualified  youth  of  the  country 
fiv  the  PnbHo  Service :  where  they  attain  the  qualifications  is  a 
natter  of  no  consequoiee.  One  of  the  collateral  advantages  of 
diese  Examinations  urould  be  to/oree  Universities  to  reform  them- 
seivea  and  thus  spare  debates  in  Parliament.  If  year  passed  after  year 
and  not  a  single  student  from  some  one  University  or  School  ap- 
peared on  any  of  the  lists  of  Special  Graduates,  Parliament  would 
b^gin  to  discuss  the  propriety  of  taking  away  its  revenues  from  it. 
hieing  no  mecme  improbable  that  in  the  course  of  ten  or  twenty  yecwe, 
9ekoiarsJrom  large  privaieachoois  vxyald  ca/rry  off  most  of  the  Special 
GracbtaUehips.  Given  the  stimulus,  it  will  probably  be  found  that 
free  competition  in  educating  youth  will  produce  the  highest  results  j 
and  that  the  function  of  Universities  and  endowed  Public  Schools 
would  be  to  give  education  cheaply  to  the  childrenof  persons  who  were 
peeaniarily  unable  to  put  their  children  under  the  tuition  of  those 
private  masters  who  were  most  successful  in  producing  Special 
Graduates.  The  separate  lists  at  the  Special  Examinations  would 
form  the  basis  of  many  interesting  statistical  tables.  It  might,  for 
instance,  be  found  that  the  back  districts  of  Canada  and  other 
colonies  produced  the  best  seers  and  hearers,  noisy  towns  the  worst 
hearers;  some  districts  the  best  mathematicians,  others  the  best  lin- 
guists ;  or,  what  would  be  equally  interesting  ae  on  aeeeHamedfaety 
\haX  eyesight,  hearing,  frtcile  organs  of  speech,  and  the  intellectual 
powers,  were  very  equally  distributed  over  all  parts  of  the  British 
Smpirei 

§  24.  llie  Naval  Examinations  would  constitute  a  separate 
series.  Each  Province  should  contribute  its  due  proportion  of 
naval  cadets  and  expectant  masters'  assistants.  The  first  Examina- 
tion should  take  place  at  the  Capital  of  each  province  for  lads  in 
their  thhrteenth  and  fourteenth  years.  The  qualifications  should 
be  much  the  same  as  those  for  the  District  Examinations.  The 
annual  proportion  of  Naval  Graduates  to  the  annual  number  of 
vacancies  might  at  first  be  fixed  at  ten  to  one.  The  Graduates 
should  be  immediately  sent  on  board  of  veBsels  of  the  Boyal  Navy, 


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xlii  PBEFACE. 

speoiAlly  intended  for  Naval  Instraction,  and  carrying  a  strong 
working,  but  not  a  fighting  crew  of  able-bodied  seamen.  These 
vessels  should  be  kept  very  much  at  sea.  Any  Graduates  guilty 
of  disreputable  conduct  to  be  dismissed — ^for  lesser  ofiences  to  be 
punished.  At  the  end  of  two  or  more  years,  as  scientific  and 
experienced  naval  officers  may  decide,  all  the  Graduates  to  undergo 
a  strictly  Competitive  Examination  at  London.  No  certificate 
beyond  that  establishing  identity  to  be  sent  with  any  of  the 
candidates,  and  all  the  above  detedled  measures  taken  to  secure 
impartiality  and  accuracy.  The  appointments  to  vacancies  of 
midshipmen  and  masters*  assistants  to  be  made  by  lot  as  they 
occur.  There  are  very  many  reasons,  connected  with  the  efficiency 
of  the  Service,  for  believing  that  the  grades  of  Masters'  Assistants 
and  Masters  should  be  abolished,  and  mates  and  second  lieutenants 
respectively  required  to  do  their  work  for  some  years  before  pro- 
motion to  the  higher  steps  of  the  service.  Of  the  nine-tenths  of 
the  Naval  Graduates  who  fEdled  to  pass  many  would  probably 
enter  the  mercantile  navy.  The  fidlure  to  pass  would  be  by  no 
means  a  proof  of  incompetency,  but  only  that  the  unsuccessful 
candidate  was  not  the  best  out  of  ten« 

§  25.  Every  means  should  be  taken  to  secure  impartiality  in  the 
Method  of  Promotion ;  but  I  am  convinced  that  it  is  not  for  the 
good  of  the  public  interests  to  attempt  to  do  this  by  means  of 
competitive  examinations  applied  to  persons  actually  in  the  Service. 
It  must  be  left  to  the  heads  of  departments ;  and  endeavours  must 
be  directed  to  secure  impartiality  by  making  the  interests  of  the 
persona  who  influence,  omd  decide  on,  the  promotions,  coincide  with  the 
advance  of  the  ablest  of  the  younger  officials.  I  believe  this  could 
be  done  to  an  extent  not  hitherto  considered  possible ;  especially 
after  the  institution  of  the  Method  of  Appointment  exclusively  by 
competitive  examinations ;  for  the  largest  number  of  those  who  are 
now  unduly  favoured  would  never  be  able  even  to  enter  into  any 
branch  of  the  PubUc  Service.  Special  care  should  be  taken  that, 
in  war,  self-possession  and  fertility  of  resource  under  threatening 
circumstances,  as  also  active  bravery,  should  be  made  the  ground 
for  extensive  promotions  from  the  ranks  of  those  men  who  could 
read  and  write  English.  The  same  qualities  fairly  proven  should  also 
be  made  weighty  causes  of  preference  among  commissioned  officers. 


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PREFACE.  Xliii 

^  26.  For  ihe  general  Improvemeiit  of  the  Ezecntlve  In  ap- 
pointmenty  in  promotion,  and  in  the  transaction  of  buainess,  con- 
stant attention  ahonld  be  paid  to  two  classes  into  one  of  which 
ererj  man  fidls. 

Men,  let  ns  premise^  may  be  divided  according  to  physical  quali- 
ties into  black-eyed  and  blue-eyed,  which  classification  may  be 
aMfbl  to  the  oculist ;  and  into  short  and  tall,  which  is  useful  for 
the  recruiting  officer.  They  may  be  diyided  according  to  their 
intdleetaal  qualities,  as  into  good  and  bad  rememberers,  i.  e.  pos- 
aeoBing  good  or  bad  memories  ;  and  divided  according  to  moral  or 
cmotioiial  qualities,  into  enthusiastic  and  apathetic.  Gompetitive 
EzaminationB  will  effectually  exclude  the  men  of  bad  memories 
ftam  the  government  service ;  and  hence,  in  gradually  elaborating 
(as  we  should  do)  a  handbook  on  the  Art  of  Executive  Govern- 
ment, we  oould  leave  them  altogether  out  of  considaratiozL  But 
as  the  moral  or  emotional  qualities  are  beyond  the  cttrlct  grasp  of 
any  examinations  that  we  can  institute,  and  as.lkpathetib  men  will 
consequently  be  found  to  have  entered  the  go^vmnient  service,  it 
w«nild  be  a  distinct  step  in  advance,  if  a  list  were  made  out  of  all 
thoee  kinds  of  affairs  and  duties  in  wl^h  Hney  could  be  employed 
with  least  disadvantage  to  the  pul^Hnter^sts,  as  a  help  to  such 
of  their  fatare  supeiiors  as  were  acadrate  discriminators  of  character. 

It  will  be  observed  that  some^eliussi&ations  are  of  lesser,  others 
of  greater  importance;  One  of  thje  most  important  classifications 
that  can  be  made  with  reference  to  the  Art  of  Government  ia  that 
alluded  to  at  the  outset  of  this  §  26,  viz.  that  which  divides  men  on 
the  one  hand  into  the  crUieal,  origvnaUne  cmd  Bdf^iarnty  and,  on 
the  other  hand,  into  the  a^ccepfive  (i.0.  inapt  to  detect  UenMee  or 
wcmie)j  imitative  and  dependent.  The  three  characteristics  of  each 
class  are,  as  the  general  rule,  found  associated.  The  acceptive  man, 
who  deals  [with  a  subject  for  a  lifetime  without  ever  seeing  its 
blemishes  or  its  needs,  is  not  likely  to  originate  alterations  or 
Buhetitutiims.  But  being  inapt  to  see  anything  wrong,  his  very 
trustfulness  itself  enables  him  to  do  unhesitatingly  and  easily 
whatever  has  been  done  before,  i,  e.  to  imitate.  On  the  other  hand, 
in  the  man  of  critical  and  originative  fisunilties,  these  are  in  like 
manner  the  complement,  the  one  of  the  other.  Again,  the  spon- 
taneously originative  man— -the  man  to  whom  invention  is  a  pica- 


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xUv  PBEFACE. 

sure— ia  necessarily  far  more  self-reUant  than  the  imitatlye  man,  to 
whom  the  origination  of  new  measures  nnder  novel  circumstances  is 
an  unnatural  effort. 

The  inexperienced  and  unreflectiye  of  each  class  look  on  the 
other  class  with  ill-feeling.     The  imitative  men  are  apt  to  look 
with  dislike  on  the  others  as  snarlers,  planners  of  unpleasant 
changes,  and  self-sufficient.     The  originative  men  are  apt  to  look 
with  contempt  on  the  others,  as  toadies,  routinists  and  timorons. 
But  the  characteristic  qualities  of  each  class  are  intellectual,  not 
moral ;  and  hence  in  each  class  both  high  and  low  natures  are  to 
be  found.     The  good  men  of  the  imitative  class  are  the  preservers 
of  real  order, — ^and  the  heroic  will  sacrifice  themselves  to  preserve 
that  order.     The  good  men  of  the  originative  class  are  the  pro- 
moters of  true  progress, — and  the  heroic  will  sacrifice  themselves 
to  promote  that  progress.      In  the  language  of  my  Essay,  the 
originative  class  produces  the  Givilizers  of  humanity:  the  imitative 
class  produces  the  readiest  and  best  Employers  of  Funded  Civiliza- 
tion.    It  is  the  existence  in  the  actual  world  of  the  originative 
class,  which  gives  validity  to  the  proposition  of  the  social  science, 
that  no  real  order  can  be  established,  still  less  last,  if  it  is  not  fully 
compatible  with  progress.     It  is  clear  that  all  change  whatever 
and  all  progress^, — ^which  means  ben^icial  change, — can  only  pro- 
ceed from  the  originative  minds  :  the  imitative  men  start  nothing 
novel.     It  is  also  sufficiently  evident  that  originative  minds  ex- 
isting, they  are  certain  to  operate.    They  cannot  nullify  themselves 
by  absolute  inaction,  neither  can  they  act  contrary  to  their  own 
nature :  to  order  a  man  of  critical  and  originative  mind  to  cease 
criticising  and  originating,  is  to  order  a  man  with  black  eyes  to  look 
with  blue.     And  it  is  harder  for  the  former  to  cease  employing  his 
mind,  than  for  the  latter  to  cease  using  his  eyes.    Hence,  if  in  any 
existing  social  system — in  any  existing  order  of  things — ^room  is 
not  left  by  the  system  itself  for  the  originative  men  to  effect  bene- 
ficial changes,  to  effect  progress  in  harmony  with  that  system,  they 
will  inevitably  originate  changes  in  disharmony  with  it,  t.  e,  they  will 
attack  the  defective  system  or  existing  order  itself.   Therefore,  real 
enduring  order  requires  progress,  because  originative  minds  exist. 

These  conclusions  show  why  it  ia  that  nations  progress  with  free 
institutions,  and  stagnate  under  despotisms.     These  conclusions 


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PSEFACE.  xIy 

also  ahow  why  despoticallj-constitated  bodies  in  a  free  community 
lag  behind  the  other  portion  of  the  commnnitj:  they  show  wh^ 
tkea  kaa  existed  toMch  has  recently  been  so  much  censu/red  in  different 
branches  of  the  British  JSxe&Uvve  vnder  the  ^Mets  of  <'  general 
rwOme^  **  officUd  dvlmss,^  "  redrtapeism,''  <fcc.  Ac.  All  those,  both 
m  and  oat  of  office,  who  interest  themselves  in  the  ^'  Ee-orgamza- 
tion  of  the  Civil  Service,''  or  *^  Administrative  Reform/*  or  in  Im- 
provement of  the  British  Executive  (as  I  call  it)  must  bear  in  mind 
that  the  necesnly  for  so  great  a  change  as  a  ^  re^orgoffiizai/uyn^  or 
''reform^  aarisesjrom  the  fadt  thoA  the  originative  men  have  Mtherto 
been  sj^stmnaticalfy  discawraged. 

Hitherto,  naj  up  to  the  present  moment,  and  to  the  best  of  my 
belief  in  all  the  three  great  divisions  of  the  Imperial  Permanent 
Eicecative,  in  the  International  Service,  in  the  Kavy,  and  in  the 
Army,  the  subordinate  of  critical  and  originative  mind — ^the  very 
man  most  likely  to  see  blemishes  and  wants  and  best  enabled  to 
suggest  remedies — damns  his  career  if  he,  in  the  spontaneous  exer- 
dse  of  the  faculties  given  him  by  nature,  endeavours  to  benefit  the 
public  interests.  The  best  he  can  then  expect  is  that  he  will  not  be 
|mn<to02y  punished, — ^that  on  each  of  his  endeavours,  only  another 
black  mark  will  be  mentally  made  against  his  name,  and  nothing 
said  to  him.  This  is  the  case  in  the  Civil  Branches.  In  the 
Military,  which  is  necessarily  a  more  despotically  constituted  body, 
we  have  recently  had  evid^ce  that  if  a  subordinate  points  out  a 
grave  evil  and  suggests^  however  respectfully,  a  remedy,  his  General 
will  openly  r^pard  his  proceeding  as  an  act  of  insubordination^  and 
threaten  to  put  him  under  arrest. 

If  there  were  in  the  Method  of  Appointment,  special  arrange- 
ments made  for  obtaining  men  of  the  originative  class^  and  in  the 
Method  of  Promotion,  special  arrangements  made  for  something 
like  their  £ur,  if  not  hearty  or  generous,  encouragement  j  then  as 
officials  have  necessarily  more  opportunities  than  non-officials,  the 
Executive  will,  as  regards  its  own  organisation  and  its  methods  of 
transacting  business^  keep  always  in  advance  of  the  public.  But 
if  originative  m^  continue  to  be  sfystematically  {i,  e,  in  accordance 
with  certain  unreasoning  stock  notions)  discouraged,  by  passive 
neglect  or  by  positive  reprobation;  then  the  Executive  will  be 
pwiodieally  convicted  of  "  routinery,"  "  red-tapery,"  and  helpless 
stagnancy ;  and  will  be  subjected  to  the  disgrace  of  being  driven 


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Xlvi  PREFACE. 

to  self-improYement  or  of  having  improvement  directly  dictated  to 
it ; — ^bnt,  unfortunately,  not  till  after  seriouB  damage  has  accrued  to 
the  national  interests.  With  respect  to  the  special  arrangements 
in  the  Method  of  Appointment,  there  will  be  little  difficulty.  If 
not  expressly  excluded,  originative  capacity  is  sure  to  find  its  way 
into  the  Service  through  Competitive  Examinations.  With  respect 
to  the  arrangements  after  Appointment,  there  are  more  difficulties; 
but  much  is  gained  when  the  necessity  for  making  them  is  dis- 
tinctly perceived.  And,  though  I  cannot  at  present  pursue  the 
subject,  I  am  convinced  that  the  difficulties  are  the  reverse  of 
insuperable.  Meantime  the  problem  may  be  stated:  To  ensure 
the  complete  efficiency  of  the  Executive  by  combining  strict,  true 
discipline  with  full  freedom  for  critical,  originative  individuality. 


That  the  Impbovshent  of  the  Executivb  would  be  greatly 
advanced  by  the  Public  Service  Examinations  of  which  the  above 
sections  indicate  the  leading  features,  will  now  hardly  be  gain- 
sayed  by  any  influential  voice.  That  the  political  Union  of  the 
Empikb  would  be  thereby  rendered  more  intimate  and  preserved 
to  distant  times,  may  not  be  quite  clear  to  those  who  have  not, 
like  myself,  long  had  under  their  eyes,  what  nine  years  ago  I 
already  called  ^  a  great  practical  lesson  of  four  thousand  yeans 
standiog :  the  Chinese  Empire.'*  What  is  said  in  the  following 
pages  on  the  duration  and  unity  of  the  Chinese  people  will,  I  hope, 
do  something  to  convince  my  readers  that  it  is  possible,  by  this 
means,  to  constitute  and  perpetuate,  in  Europe,  Northern  America, 
Southern  AJ&ica  and  Australasia,  a  great,  united  and  homogeneous 
British  people  under  their  present  mixed  institutions,  those  tried 
guarantees  of  order  and  progress. 

How  much  this  unity  must  benefit  the  British  Isles,  may  be 
shown  by  a  reference  to  occurrences  firesh  in  all  our  memories. 
Had  the  proposed  system  been  instituted  nine  years  ago,  there 
would  have  been  in  the  winter  of  Fifty-four  some  forty  to  fifty 
Canadian  officers  in  the  different  regiments  of  the  British  army 
before  Sebastopol ;  men  from  various  classes  and  parts  of  Canada, 
and  the  &te  of  each  of  whom  would  have  been  watched  with 
affection  and  friendship  by  large  family  and  social  circles  in  their 
native  districts.  Would  the  Canadians  in  that  case  have  limited 
their  assistance  to  the  twenty  thousand  pounds  subscribed  when 


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PBEFACE.  Xlvii 

Umj  bid  no  fiiends  there )  Or  would  they  have  lavished  large 
aoH  to  deepatch  to  the  aid  of  their  vom  out^  sickening^  and 
eodiiigered  aona  and  brothers,  some  two  or  three  strong  regiments 
coniumi^  a  large  proportion  of  hunters  from  American  Siberia, 
iat  whom  the  Crimean  winter  would  have  had  no  terxors,  bat 
vhoee  rifles  would  have  been  terrible  to  the  BnssiaQfl  f  And  if  the 
present  war  party  of  the  United  States  knew  that  the  British 
Ameiicaiia  had  a  son  or  two  in  every  Boyal  raiment,  in  each 
Onsen's  ship  of  war,  and  in  each  of  the  Imperial  Pablic  Offices  in 
London,  wonld  that  party  be  so  very  ready  to  insist  on  a  war, 
which  wonld  bring  these  same  regiments  and  ships  npon  them, 
nsknsly  and  anxionaly  backed  by  all  the  forces  that  the  two  hardy 
milli<Hi8  which  lie  along  their  northern  boundaries  could  throw 
into  the  contest  I  Looking  at  the  matter  in  a  pecuniary  point  of 
▼lew,  the  TJnion  of  the  British  Empire  would  be  an  enormous 
saving  to  the  inhabitants  of  the  British  Isles,  even  if  the  latter 
paid  for  the  building  of  all  the  Examination  Halls  and  defrayed  all 
subsequent  costs  of  the  System.  For  that  union  would  prevent 
wart,  and  we  have  just  seen  how  much  two  single  years  of  war 
coat  na.  But  there  can  be  little  doubt  from  what  we  know  of 
the  feeling  in  British  America  and  in  Australia^  that  all  the  larger 
colonial  Provinces  would  defray  their  own  share  of  the  Examina- 
tion expenses  from  the  first  There  can  also  be  little  doubt  that 
when  they  had  increased  in  population  and  in  realized  wealth,  their 
Legislatures  would,  in  the  event  of  future  wars,  while  leaving  the 
British  Isles  to  deal  with  their  debt  as  before,  voluntarily  come 
forward  to  bear  their  frill  share  of  the  new  Imperial  burdena 

We  could,  through  the  proposed  Public  Service  Examinations, 
promote^  to  such  of  the  colonial  provinces  as  we  pleased,  an  emigra- 
tion of  classes  which  have  not  hitherto  frimished  emigrants,  and 
which  would  not  only  rapidly  people  such  Provinces,  but  make 
them  truly  British  in  all  respects.  I  mean  married  people,  them- 
selves of  good  standing  in  point  of  &mily  connections,  but  whose 
means  are  not  such  as  to  enable  them  to  bring  up  their  own  in- 
creasing families  in  the  same  grade  of  society.  By  allotting  a 
considerably  larger  proportion  of  Special  Graduateships  to  some 
colonial  Provinces  (of  which  New  Zealand  might  be  one),  we  can 
see  that  the  following  consequences  would  ensue ;  especially  when 
we  keep  in  view  the  submarine  telegraphs  and  the  always  increasing 


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xlviii  PREFACE. 

lapiditj  of  ocean  Bteamen.  People  of  the  above  claae,  far  from 
feeling  as  now,  that  in  emigrating  they  really  desert.  England  and 
aid  to  establish  a  separate  and  possibly  hostile  State,  would  feel 
that,  on  the  other  side  of  the  world,  their  sons,  with  a  certainty  of 
possessing  the  necessaries  of  existence  which  they  have  not  on  this 
side,  and  with  an  equal  chance  of  obtaining  posts  in  the  Provincial 
Executive,  would,  at  the  same  time,  have  greater  chances  of  enter- 
ing the  British  Public  Offices,  the  Diplomatic  and  Consular  Ser- 
vices, the  Army  and  the  Navy,  than  they  had  in  England.  I  have 
already  indicated  the  hct  of  the  existence  of  some  millions  of  a 
homogeneous  British  people  at  the  Cape  and  in  Australasia  (places 
to  which  Indian  officers  now  occasionally  retire)  as  the  best 
guarantee  for  the  preservation  of  our  East  Indian  possessions  against 
external  aggression.  I  have  now  to  add  that  British  America  on 
the  Pacific  is  a  portion  of  the  Empire  which  it  is  a  most  urgent 
duty  to  people,  as  rapidly  as  possible,  with  a  thoroughly  British 
population.  Besides  other  means  taken  to  effect  this,  a  very  largo 
proportion  of  Special  Graduateships  (i.e.  officer's  vacancies)  should 
be  allotted  to  it ;  and,  to  prevent  defeat  of  the  main  object,  a  purely 
British  or  British  American  descent  might  be  made  an  indispen- 
sable condition  in  the  settlers  admitted  to  compete  for  them. 

I  have  not  thought  it  necessary  to  dwell  much  on  the  high 
efficiency  which  the  proposed  Public  Service  Examinations  would, 
when  perfected  by  experience,  give  to  the  British  Imperial  Execu- 
tive. In  the  course  of  twenty  or  five-and-tweniy  years,  that 
Executive  would  consist  of  an  official  body  unequalled  in  past 
history  ;  and  the  members  of  which  would  be  regarded  with  curio- 
sity, interest,  and  respect  in  every  cultivated  society  in  every 
foreign  country  throughout  the  world.  For  they  would,  in  their 
origin,  be  the  product  of  a  harmonious  operation  of  the  monarchic 
and  democratic  elements  in  our  unrivalled  Constitution  ;  and  they 
would  all  be  men,  physically  and  intellectually,  the  very  flower  of 
the  best  youth  and  manhood  of  the  finest  race  on  earth,  men 
drawn  from  every  region  of  a  wide-spread  but  thoroughly  united 
Empire,  such  as  its  people  might  well  love  to  claim  as  their  own, 
and  its  Sovereign  be  indeed  proud  to  reign  over. 

T.  T.  M. 

Oriental  Club, 

March,  1S56. 


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CONTENTS. 


PREFACE.— v—xxi. 

FL&H  FOR  THB   UKION  OP  THB  BRIT|BH  EMFIBB  AND  USE  nCFBOTEMENT 

OF  TBS  BBTTIBH  EXEOunvB.— zxii — ^zlviii. 


CHAPTER  I. 

POLITICAL  OEOGBAFHY  AND  ADMnTEBTRATXYE  UACHINEBT. 

Tlie  Fire  Great  Diviaions  of  the  Chinese  Empire,  1.  China  Proper,  4. 
The  Independent  Mountaineers,  5.  The  Executive  System.  The 
District  Magistrate,  6.  The  Prefect  and  the  Intendant,  8.  The 
hi^cier  Provincial  Authorities,  9.  The  Army,  12.  The  Central  Im- 
perial Government,  la 

CHAPTER  n. 

THBOBT  AJTD  FRACHGAL  WORKING  OF  THE  NORMAL  CHINEBE 
AUTOCRACY. 

The  Emperor  absolute,  16.  Not  Sovereign  by  birth^  17.  How  rejected 
by  Heaven,  18.  Chief  Principle  of  Good  Government,  20.  Public 
Service  EzazninationB,  21.  Principles  of  Legislation,  22.  Right  of 
Rebellion,  24«    Self-Govermnent  and  Freedom,  27. 

CHAPTER  IIL 

A0CBB8ION,  ABNORMAL  FOLIOY,  AND  WEAKNESS  07  THE  MANCHOO 
BTNASTT. 

Hanehoo  Conquest,  30.  Chinese  Disaffection^  31.  Manchoo  Officials 
BDd  Sale  of  Posts,  32.    English  War,  33. 


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1  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER  IV. 

RIBB  AND  PBOaRE88  07  THB  OHINBBK  PEOPLE,  CATJSBS  07  ITB  UNIT7  AKD 
GENERAL  HOHOaBNEITT,  AND  OF  CERTAIN  PECULIARITIES  IN  THE  BOUTH- 
EASTERN  CHINESE* 

Original  Seat  of  the  People,  and  Modes  of  Progress,  34.  China  Ptroper, 
and  Chinese  Empire,  35.  Cause  of  Unity  and  Homogeneity,  38. 
Meditations  on  the  Great  Pyramid,  39.  The  ^preat  Southern  Water- 
shed, 43.    The  South-Eastern  Chinese,  44. 

CHAPTER  V. 

H.  Hud's  OPINIONS  OF  THB  CHINESE. 

L'Empire  Cbinois,  61.  Chinese  Catholics,  62.  Foreign  MissionarieSy 
53.  M.  Hue's  Opportunities,  54.  The  Two  British  Embassies,  55. 
Opportimities  of  Foreigners  at  the  live  Ports,  56.  Errors  of  TEm- 
pire  Chinoisy  69.  Character  of  the  Chinese,  63.  Scandinavian  Sea- 
King  and  Learned  Chinese,  67.  Chinese  Character  illustrated  from 
Language^  68.    Various  Opinions  contrasted,  72. 

CHAPTER  VI. 

HUNG  SEW  TSEUEN,   THB  ORIGINATOR  OF  THE  REBELLION,  HIS  BARLT 
BIOGRAPHY  AND  HIS  ADOPTION  OF  CHRIBnANm. 

Hung  sew  tseuen's  Parentage  and  Youth,  74.  His  Vision,  76.  Chris- 
tian Missionary  Tracts,  79.  Hung  sew  tseuen  reads  them,  80.  Is 
converted,  and  believes  he  has  a  Mission,  81. 

CHAPTER  VII. 

HUNG  SEW  TBBX7BN*S  E8TABIJBHMENT  OF  A  NEW  SECT  OF  OHBIBTIANB  IN 
KWANG  SE,   AND  CAUSES  OF  HIB  SUCCESS. 

His  first  Converts,  and  Departure  for  Kwang  se,  84.  Society  of  Qod- 
worshippers  established,  85.  Hung  sew  tseuen  with  Mr.  Roberts  at 
Canton,  87.  Acknowledged  Chief  of  Godworshippers  in  Ewang  se^ 
88.  Causes  of  Spread  of  Religious  Movements,  89.  Character  of 
Kwang  se  Chinese,  91.  Causes  of  their  Conversion  by  Hung  sew 
tseuen,  92.  Dr.  Qutzlaft's  Chinese  Testament^  94.  Godworshippers 
destroy  Idols,  and  are  persecuted,  96. 


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CHAPTER  Vni. 

OBIGIH  OF  THE  GB06BEB  VANAIICIBMB   07  THE   NBW  SEOT  OF 
CHBIBtlANS. 

ADeged  Defloents  of  God  into  the  World,  98.  Proclamations  respecting 
them,  99.  Will  of  Qod  communicated  hy  Yang  sew  tsing,  102.  Why 
accepted  by  Hung  sew  tseuen,  103. 

CHAPTER  IX. 

BXIBOBPaClTVE  AOOOXTNT   OF   THB  JSBTABT«TBHMBNT  OF  THB  MANOHOO 
POWfiB  IN  CHINA. 

Chinese  Rebel  overthrows  Native  Dynasty,  106.  Chinese  Qeneral 
imrtes  the  Aid  of  the  Manchoos,  107.  They  establish  themselves  in 
Peking,  106.  Their  Second  Emperor  Kang  he^  109.  Suppresses  a 
Rebellion^  and  conquers  Formosa^  110. 

CHAPTER  X. 

FOfRKATION  OF  CHINBSB  FOLITIOAL  SOdBTIES  AGAINST  THB  MANOHOO 
DOMIHATIOH,  AND  ORIGIN  OF  CHINESE  INSTJBBECTIONS  AND  REBELUONB 
OKNKRAII.T. 

Secret  Political  Societies  in  South-Eastem  China^  112.  Origin  of 
Chinese  Insurrections,  113.  Origin  of  Bandit  Rebel  Leaders,  117. 
Occidentals'  Misconceptions  on  Chinese  Robbers,  Pirates,  and  Rebels, 
118.  Chinese  Civilization,  120.  Present  Rebellions  foreseen  by 
Writer,  121. 

CHAPTER  XI. 

OOHVEBSAXIONB  OF  THE  OLD  EMPEROB  TAOU  KWANG  WITH  A  HIGH 
MANDABIH  BBSFBCUNG  BBTTIBH  FBOJBCIB  AND  THE  STATE  OF  BOUTHBBN 
CHINA. 

Imperial  Administrative  Levees,  123.  Their  Object,  124.  How  the 
Knperoi^s  Convensations  became  known,  125.  The  Mandarin  Pih 
kweiy  126.  Has  an  Audience  with  the  Emperor,  127.  Emperor 
iDquireB  about  English  Barbarians^  128 ;  and  their  Troops  at  Hong- 
kong^ 129.  Eknperor  promotes  Pih  kwei,  and  exhorts  him  to  do  his 
Doty,  130.  Concludes  the  English  Barbarians  are  mere  Traders,  132. 
Deseribes  his  Inner  €hurments^  133.  Speaks  about  Opium-smoking, 
134.  Inquires  about  the  Future  Conduct  of  English  Barbarians,  135. 


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CHAPTER  XII. 

MEASURES  OF  THE  DCPERIAL  AXJTHOBITIEB  AQAINBT  THE  KWANG  BE  OHBI0- 
TIANB  ;  AND  THE  TaANBFORMATION  OF  THESE  DHX)  RELIOIOUB  FOLI- 
TIOAL  BEBEIB. 

English  Squadron  turns  Pirates  into  Bebels,  137 ;  Bandit  Bebels  in 
Ewang  se,  138.  Embroil  the  Gk>dworshippers  with  Authorities^  139. 
Hung  sew  tseuen  rescued  by  Yang  sew  tsing,  .142.  Format  Rise  of 
Godworshippers  as  Tae  ping  RebelSi  143. 

CHAPTER  XIII. 

MnJTABT  AND  POLITICAL  FBOGEEDINaS  OF  THE  TAB  FINQ  BEBEIB  FROM 
THEIB  FIBST  BIBINa  TILL  AFTER  THEIR  OOCUFATION  OF  NANKING. 

Anxiety  of  the  Imperial  Qovemment^  145.  Despatches  the  Prime 
Minister  against  the  Tae  pings,  146.  General  Nature  of  the  War, 
147.  Divine  Mission  of  Hung  sew  tseuen  as  the  Heavenly  Prinoe, 
149.  Female  Rebel  Chiefs^  151.  Triad  Society,  151.  Letter  of  an 
Imperial  Commander  on  the  Rebellion,  153.  Describes  Cowardice  of 
Imperialist  Regulars,  155.  And  Extent  of  Rebellion,  156.  And  the 
Rebel  Leaders  and  Tactics,  157.  Report  of  a  Manchoo  General  on 
the  Inefficiency  of  the  Army,  160.  Emperor  orders  Teaching  of 
Confucianism  to  prevent  Spread  of  Christianity,  162.  Tae  pings 
take  Yung  gan,  163.  Organization  of  Tae  ping  Forces,  164.  The  Tae 
ping  "  Princes,"  165.  They  leave  for  the  Valley  of  the  Great  River, 
166.  Take  Woo  chang  and  Nanking,  and  kill  all  the  Manchoos,  167 — 
169.  Take  Chin  keang,  170.  Their  position  at  Nanking  and  Chin 
Keang,  171.   Their  Method  of  Conscription,  173. 

CHAPTER  XIV.   • 

MnJTART  HIBTORT  OF  THE  TAE  FINOS,  AFTER  THE  OCCUPATION  OF 
NANEJNG,  UP  TO  THE  PRESENT  TIME. 

Tae  Pmg  Northern  Army  crosses  the  Yellow  River,  and  besieges  Hwae 
king,  175.  Raises  the  Siege,  and  marches  northward  to  Tsing  hae, 
176.  Shut  up  there  by  the  Imperialists,  177.  Remarkable  Nature 
of  its  March,  177.  Tae  ping  Auxiliary  Army,  179.  Penetrates  to 
Lin  Tsing,  180.  Imperialists  force  the  Tae  pings  to  re-cross  the 
Yellow  ^ver,  181.  Operations  and  Position  of  the  Tae  pings  in  the 
Great  River  Valley,  182.    Proceedings  foreseen  by  Writer,  186. 


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CHAPTEB  XV. 

sun  OV  THE  BSA.-BOAB1>  POPULATION  AT  THE   MOUTH   OF  ZH8  OBEAT 
BIVBB9    OH  THB  APPBOAOH   OF  THB  TAB  FDf Oa 

Mr.HimbeilgfB  Book,  191.  Deeeription  of  Hung  sew  tseaen,  192. 
Chriafciamty  of  Bebete  at  first  unknowQ  to  OooidentalBy  193.  The 
Stanf/mm  Intendant  Woo  wants  to  hire  H.M.*s  Sloop  Liiy,  195.  And 
aeods  Portagofifie  YeeseLs  i^ainst  the  Tae  pings,  196.  Description  of 
the  Gfereat  Alluvial  Fkun^  197.  Writer's  Canton  Boat  and  ExcorsionSy 
U9.  Boats  in  the  Great  Allui^al  Plain,  201.  Writet^s  Boat  de- 
scribed, a02.  A  Word  for  the  gourmand,  207.  F^c  at  Sfaanghae, 
and  British  Keutrality  annoonoed,  208.  Naval  Battle  between  the 
1^  pingB  and  Portuguesey  209.  Necessity  for  obtaining  Infor- 
,211. 


CHAPTER  XVI. 

XXCUB8IOH  OH  THE  OBAND   CANAL  TO  OBTAIN  INFOBlfATION  BBBFBCTINa 

THE  BEBELB. 

Wrilet's  Ghineee  Clerk  and  Servants,  213.    Start  with  him  for  the 
Qrand  Oanal,  215.    Beadi  Soo  chow,  216.  Boatmen  leave,  and  others 
procured,  217.    Preparations  for  repelling  Bobbers,  218.    Bisks  on 
the  Grand  Canal,  219.    Afiur  with  Pirates  at  Canton,  220.    The  Sen 
8M  Cnstom-hocise  on  the  Grand  Canal  passed,  221.    Value  of  His- 
torical Lore,  222.    Suspiciotis  Spyer  at  Woo  seih,  223.    Boarded  by 
an  Old  Woman  at  Chang  chow,  225.    Army  assembling  at  Chang 
chow,  and  Rebel  beheaded  on  the  Canal  bank,  226.    Chinese  Army 
marchings  227.    A  wordy  Fight  on  the  Grand  Canal,  228.    Tracking 
against  Headwind,  229.    Stoppage  at  Tan  yang,  and  Appearance  of 
Writer's  Agent,  Chang,  230.    Chang's  Apprehension  by  the  Night- 
watch,  his  Examination  and  Belease,  232.    Safety  in  Bain,  235. 
Re-pass  the  Sea  sze  Custom-house,  and  Fright  of  Examiner,  236. 
Soo  chow  and  British  Peace  Party,  238.    Betum  to  Shanghae  again, 
and  Report  banded  in,  240.    liAimdarin  Proclamation,  245.    Former 
Excursion  on  the  Great  River,  246.  H.M.'s  Flenipotentiary  resolves  to 
proceed  to  Nanking,  248.    Tbe  Tae  ping  Western  Prince  seizes  the 
Vewels  of  a  Native  Merchant^  249. 


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liv  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER  XVn. 

XNTEBCOUBSE  07  THE  TAE  FINQB  WITH  WEBTEBN  FOREiaNEBS. 

The  War  Steamer  Hermes  starts  for  Nanking,  251.  Fired  on  by  the 
Tae  pings  at  Chin  keang,  252.  Imperialist  Fleet  attacks  the  Tae 
ping  Batteries,  253.  KcMSult  of  the  Action,  254.  Hermes  reaches 
Nanking,  and  conmnmicates  with  the  Tae  pings,  256.  Writer's  inter- 
view with  the  Northern  Prince,  257.  Lae,  a  Tae  ping  Officer,  visits 
the  Hermes^  263.  Bide  into  the  City  of  Nanking,  264.  The  Plenipo- 
tentiary's Declaration  of  Neutrality,  265.  Hermes  fired  on  by  the 
Imperial  Squadron,  267.  Tae  ping  Manifesto  to  the  En^h,  269. 
The  English  Beply,  272.  The  Tae  ping  Trenches,  273.  The  Hermes 
returns  the  Tae  ping  Fire  at  Chin  keang,  274.  Interview  with  the 
Tae  ping  Commandant,  274.  Correspondence  with  him,  275.  Gene- 
ral Bearing  of  the  Tae  ping  Leaders,  278.  The  Writer's  personal 
Dealings  with  them,  279.  The  Officer  Lae,  261.  An  American  Mis- 
sionary visits  Chin  keang,  283.  The  Tae  pings  at  Worship,  284. 
Boat  Expedition  on  the  Great  River  for  Deserters  and  Information, 
284.  Arrives  at  Silver  Island,  286.  The  Imperialist  Officers  before 
Chin  keang,  286.  Tae  ping  Fortifications,  287.  Their  Treatment  of 
the  People  and  Idols,  290.  British  Neutrality  justified  to  a  High 
Manchoo,  292.  And  to  Chinese  Imperialist  Officers,  294.  The 
Imperialist  Warriors  of  the  Deep,  297.  Discussion  about  passing 
into  Chin  keang,  299.  Night  Adventures  with  an  Imperialist 
Squadron,  301.  Start  for  Chin  keang,  304.  The  Tae  ping  Outworks, 
305.  Appearance  of  Chin  keang,  306.  The  Old  Tae  Pings,  and 
Interview  with  the  Commandant,  307.  Betiun  to  Shanghae,  309. 
Three  subsequent  Visits  of  Occidentals  to  Nanking,  310.  Violations 
of  the  Tae  ping  Belligerent  Bights,  315.  True  Neutrality,  320. 
Universal  Supremacy  of  the  Ruler  of  China»  323.  Manchoo  and 
Tae  ping  Attitude  towards  Foreigners,  324. 

CHAPTER  XVIII. 

NOnOE    07  THE  PHUiOSOFHY,   MOBALETY,  AND  F0LIT7  OF  THE  OHINESB, 
AND  OF  THE  BELIGION  OF  THE  OOVERNINQ  CLASS. 

Confucianism  the  dominant  Chinese  Philosophy,  326.  Hitherto  not 
rightly  described,  328.  Two  Epochs  of  Philosophical  Literature,  329. 
Fuh  he  the  Founder  of  Chinese  Civilization,  329.  Confucius,  Mencius, 
and  the  First  Epoch,  332.    Intervals  between  Epochs,  333.    Chow 


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CONTENTS.  Iv 

toB  Origiiiator  of  Beoond  Epoch,  334.  Ohoo  tsze,  its  Oloeer,  835. 
Subseqaent  literature,  337.  The  ^  Complete  Philosophy/' 338.  The 
MEBsenoe  of  Philoflophj,"  339.  Choo  tsze's  Authority  Paramount,  340. 
Eyohitioa  of  the  Universe,  342.  Man's  Nature,  346.  The  Holy  Man, 
347.  Hie  Sage,  348.  Key  to  the  Chinese  Sacred  Books,  349.  Meanings 
of  the  word  Taou,  353.  Choo  tsze's  Office  in  Philosophy,  356. 
Beligiofn  of  the  Qoveming  Class,  359.  State  Ritual  Worship,  361. 
Religioii  of  the  Uneducated,  362.  B^musat's  Translation  Of  the 
Chung  yung,  363.  Pkiuthier*s,  364.  Mr.  Collie's,  364.  Clue  to  the 
various  Misconceptions,  368.  Besemblances  between  Chinese  Philo- 
sc^hy  and  European  Systems,  369.  Misconception  of  Chinese  Philo- 
«^y  by  Drs.  Medhurst  and  Williams,  372.  Errors  of  Dr.  Gutzlaff 's 
<<  China  Opened,"  376.  Error  unavoidable  among  Writers  in  Europe, 
377.  ChineseNewWordsbySynthesisof  Contradictories,  379.  Three 
Important  Propositions  of  Chinese  Philosophy,  381.  First,  Unity 
underlies  all  Variety,  381.  Second,  Harmonious  Order  in  aU  Change, 
382.  Third,  Man's  Nature  is  perfectly  Good,  385.  The  same  Word 
means  Publicity  and  Justice,  388.  Psychical  Basis  of  Chinese  Govern- 
ment by  Moral  Force,  389.  Obligation  of  Chinese  Morality,  392. 
Exo^ytions  to  Government  by  Moral  Force :  Slavery  and  Concubi- 
nage, 395.  Bemarkable  Purity  of  Sacred  Literature,  396.  M.  Hue's 
Exaggerations  of  Chinese  Immorality,  397.  Standing  of  different 
Occupations  in  China,  398.  Paternal  Power,  399.  Causes  of  un- 
equalled Duration  and  Increase  of  Chinese  People,  400.  Public 
Service  Examinations,  402.  Notice  of  Examinations  in  1851  at 
Nanking,  404. 

CHAPTER  XIX. 

CHBIBIIAKIIT   AND  FR06FEC7IB  OF  THE  TAB  PINGS. 

Three  daases  of  Tae  ping  Publications,  410.  Christianity  invariably 
modified  by  pre-existing  Beliefe,  412.  Influence  of  Confucianism  on 
Hung  sew  tseuen's  Christianity,  413.  His  Vindication  of  his  Beliefo 
to  Educated  Chinese,  414.  Tenets  of  Tae  ping  Christianity,  418. 
Anthropomoiphism,  4ia  The  Human  Soul,  419.  Man's  Original 
Nature  Good,  419.  The  Devil  identified  in  the  Chinese  Pluto,  420. 
Tae  ping  View  of  the  Confucian  Holy  Man,  421.  The  Nature  of 
Jesus,  422.  The  Tae  ping  Moral  Code,  425.  The  Essentials  of  Tae 
ping  Christianity,  427.  The  Trinity,  Imputed  Sin  and  Bedemption,  428. 
Fanatical  Features  of  Tae  pingism,  429.  Alleged  possession  of  the 
"  Eastern  Prince  "  by  the  Spirit  of  God,  429.  Extraordinary  proceed- 
ings at  Nanking,  431.    Causes  of  Hung  sew  tseuen's  submission  to 


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Ivi  CONTENTS. 

PreteDsioxis  of  ^he  Eaatem  Prince^  436.  Honest  Delusions  of  Hung 
sew  tseuen,  438.  Views  of  Fanatical  P(^y  degeneratmg,  440.  Hung 
sew  tseuen  remains  consistent,  441.  Poljg^uny  of  the  Tae  pings,  443. 
The  Bible  to  be  the  Text  Book  of  the  Public  Service  Examinations^ 
446.  Protestant  Chinese  Sibles  should  be  accompanied  by  Notes,  447. 
The  Originals  should  be  published  with  Interlinear  Renderingg,  448. 
Progress  of  Civilization  requires  Non-inter£9renoe  by  Force  with 
Chinese  Politics,  449.  Notice  of  the  Bebellious  Movements  at  Amoy 
and  Shanghae,  4^51 ;  and  at  Canton,  453.  Indiscriminate  Executions 
by  the  Imperialists,  454.  The  bulk  of  the  educated  and  well-to-do 
Chinese  against  the  Tae  pings,  456.  The  uneducated  and  the  dis- 
affected for  theno,  457.  Their  Belief  that  God  protects  them  a  great 
Element  of  Success,  458.  The  Engli^  Puritans,  the  Mahommedans, 
and  the  Tae  pings,  459.    Result  of  Bebellion  not  to  be  foreseen,  463. 


CHAPTER  XX. 

THB  BS9T  FOLtOT  OF  WESTBBN  S!CATES  TOWABOS  CHINA. 

Occidentals  have  no  right  to  interfere  with  Chinese  internal  Politics, 
464.  Doctrine  of  Non-interference  stated,  467.  The  four  most  Power- 
ful Nations  interested  in  China,  468.  Should  combine  to  prevent 
the  Interference  of  any  Single  Nation,  469.  Armed  Protection 
to  be  given  to  Missionaries,  but  not  to  Chinese  Christians,  470. 
Danger  of  Russian  Aggressions  on  China,  472.  If  allowed  to  conquer 
China  she  will  be  Mistress  of  the  World,  473 ;  and  will  conquer 
America,  474.  Her  past  Aggressions  on  Chinese  Empire,  475.  How 
future  Aggressions  may  be  made,  477.  China  herself  unable  to  resist 
for  the  next  Generation,  478.  Danger  to  the  United  States  of  a 
mistaken  Policy,  480.  England,  France,  and  America  can  stop 
Russian  Aggressions,  481.  Draft  of  Compact  they  should  make  to 
preserve  the  Chinese  Empire,  482.  Its  Advantages,  483.  No  abso- 
lute Necessity  for  Hostilities  with  Manchoo  or  Tae  pings,  485.  The 
Opium  Question,  486.  Its  Morality,  487.  Real  Difficulty  between 
British  and  Chinese  regarding  it,  489.  The  Subject  practically  redu- 
cible to  Three  Questions,  490.  Not  inevitably  a  Source  of  Quanrel, 
491. 


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CONTENTS.  Ivii 


CIVILIZATION,  &c. 


CfHAPTER  I. 

DKFlKJITiOV  OF  OiyniZATION. 

NeeeoBity  for  a  DefinitioD,  493«    EzaminatiDn  of  the  Description  in 
M.  Goisot's  "  Civilization  in  Europe,"  494. '  Civilizers  always  suflfer, 

497.  Mill's  Logic  on  Definitions  and  on  Civilization  being  undefined, 

498.  An  Kngliflhrnan  and  a  Chinaman  contrasted  as  civilized  Men, 
fiOa  D^mUion  of  Civilization,  501.  Explanation  of  the  Tenns  of  the 
Definition,  602.  Bise  and  Progress  of  Civilization  generally,  504. 
Fonr  kinds  of  Civilization,  509.  Definition  of  Cultivation,  511.  Word, 
cffioent^  in  the  Definition  of  Civilization ;  and  ''It's  all  very  well  in 
Theory,  bat  it  won't  do  in  Practice,"  512.  The  British  Peace  Party, 
513L  lUustiations  of  different  Kinds  of  Civilization,  513.  Advantage 
of  high  individual  Cultivation,  514.  Quality  and  worUng  of  the 
difiGerent  Kinds  of  Civilization,  515.  Employment  of  the  different 
Kinds  in  the  East^  517.  The  Civilized  and  Civilizing  Process — 
fbnded  Civilization — and  the  Savage  of  Civilization,  518.  Belative 
meaningB  of  Savage,  Barbarous,  Semi-barbarous  and  Civilized,  519. 
Most  palpable  and  striking  Marks  of  Civilization,  520. 

CHAPTER  II. 

BXUaiON,  SCXENOB,  AND  ART. 

The  Religions  Faculties,  521.  Essence  of  all  Religions,  522.  Christ's 
two  Great  Commands,  522.  Highest  Civilization  enjoined  by  Second 
Great  Command,  524.  Perfect  Harmony  of  Religion  and  Civiliza- 
tion, 525.  Civilizing  Influence  of  First  Great  Command,  525.  Origin 
of  Religious  Persecutions  and  Wars,  526.  Non-coercion  and  Non- 
interference in  Religion  indispensable  to  Civilization,  527.  Sec- 
tarian PetBecutionB  ultimately  unsuccessful,  528.  Existing  Conftudon 
of  Terms,  528.  Sound  and  vicious  Science  and  Art,  529.  Four 
chief  natural  Impellants  to  tie  Struggle  of  Civilization,  531.  L 
Parental  Afeetion,  631.  Its  Over-indulgenoe  Barbarous,  631.  IL 
Jveruon  to  Faim,  532.  Civilization  shrinks  from  the  Sight  of 
Human  Suffering,  632.  Overdressing  Barbarous,  533.  Healings  Art, 
and  Quackery,  533.    III.  TU  Nutritional  Appetite,  533.    Gluttony  and 


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Iviii  CONTENTS. 

Drunkennefis  Barbarous  and  Disciyflizing;  533.  Most  perfect  Satisfao- 
tion  of  Nutritional  Appetite,  534.    Ciookery  as  a  yidous  Arty  534. 
Insufficient  Physiology,  535.    Defective  Social  State— Overworking^ 
-with  Starvation — Indolence  with  Waste,  535.    Ameliorative  Legisl&- 
lation  necessarily  gradual  and  slow,  536.    lY.  Tie  Sexual  ^ipefife, 
537.    Sexual  Excess  Barbarous  and  Discivilizing,  537.    The  Sexual 
Appetite  and  F&rental  Cravings,  537.    Equality  of  Male  and  Female 
Births,  and  tendency  to  Pair,  538.    Polygamy  and  its  Results,  538. 
Mormon  Polygamy,  539.    The  Coerdons  of  Civilization  and  those  of 
Religion,  540.     Enow-nothings,  Bomanism,  and  Mormonism,  542. 
Civilizades  and  Crusades,  543.    Best  Course  for  Americans  with  Mor- 
mons, 543.     Mahommedan  and  Chinese  Polygamy,  544.    Our  low 
Civilization  as  regards  the  Sexual  Appetite,  545.    The  one  Remedy — 
Universal  Prevalence  of  Marriage— K)pposed  by  Political  Economy,  545. 
Sphere  of  Political  Economy,  546.    Mill's  Political  Economy  as  to  the 
best  future  Relations  of  the  Sexes,  547.    Right  Qratification  of  all 
natural  Faculties  indispensable  to  Civilization,  547.    Restraint  of 
Population  required  by  Political  Economists,  548.    That  Science  does 
not  deal  with  Prostitution,  549.    Only  Remedy  for  this  Evil,  550. 
Discivilizing  Elements  counterbalanced  by  Civilizing  Processes,  550. 
Degradation  of  Race,  551.    Marriage  and  Marriage  Ceremonies,  552. 
Divorce,  553.    Love  and  its  ^  Illusions ;"  Marriage  and  its  ^Di»- 
enchantments,"  554.    Illustrative  Chinese  Tale,  556.    Celibacy  and 
hereditary  Disease,  557.    Amelioration  can  only  be  gradual  and  slow, 
559.    Complete  pecuniary  Independence  of  Woman,  559.    Calumny 
of  Animals  and  Goethe  amended,  559.    Woman  and  remunerative 
Labour,  560.    Shop  Men  and  Shop  Women,  560.    Medical  Women, 
561.    Woman's  chief  social  Function,  and  the  Knowledge  most 
required  for  it>  562.    Woman,  as  a  domestic  Worker,  will  be  remune- 
rated in  advance  by  Gifts  and  Bequests,  565.    Fortune  Hunting,  566. 
The  Fine  Arts,  567.    Refinement,  568.    General  Observations  on  the 
foregoing  Discussion,  568. 

CHAPTER  IIL 

lOBOELLANEOUS     III.T7BIRATI029B   FBOK   CHBIBTUN   Ain>   CONFUCIAN 
CIVILIZATIONS. 

The  Definition  of  Civilization  employed  as  a  Test,  571.  Civilized  and 
Disdvilized  Clocks  and  other  Machines,  571.  The  Inventor  and  the 
philosophical  Genius  as  Civilizers,  572.  On  Peace  and  its  Oeeupaiione, 
573.    Trade  in  itself  not  Debasing,  574.    National  Consequences  of 


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CONTENTS.  lix 

Ijiag  and  swindling  in  Trade  and  Politics,  675.    On  Qovemment  in 
General,  576.     Man's  Desire  to  Eule,  and  his  Craving  for  Admiration^ 
577.    Gaoae  of  long  Duration  of  the  Chinese  as  a  Nation,  578.    B£r. 
MiITb  deairable  State  of  Society,  578.   His  chief  Measure  for  securing 
it  impiacticable,  579.    The  Civilizing  Processes  produce  an  improved 
Homanitj  and  Beauty  for  Mem  in  inanimate  Nature,  580.    Best  re- 
membered Prospects    of  inanimate  Nature  seen  by  Writer,  581. 
Ptaqwct  on  the  north-east  Coast  of  England,  581.    Prospect  from 
the  Brocken,  582.    Prospect  from  the  Hills  of  Chapoo,  582.    Pro- 
ipeci  from  the  Palace-hill  at   Loochoo,  with   some   Description 
of  the  Prindpalify,  584.    Prospect  from  the  Qreat  Pyramid,  588. 
^Ssthetio  result,  for  Man,  of  Trade  and  Agriculture  on  Sea,  Marsh, 
Plain  and  Mountain,  588.  Trading  Communities  produce  the  greatest 
Phikaophera,  Artists,  and  Warriors,  589.    Peace  not  necessarily  ener- 
vatin^  590.    Perseverance  a  CiviUzed  Method,  591.    On  War,  592. 
Wan  Barbarous  or  CiviLLzed  in  their  Origin,  592.    The  International 
Service  and  its  Functions,  592.    Our  War  with  Bussia  Civilized  in  its 
Qriginy  593.    War  in  its  Conduct,  or  Barbarous  and  Civilized  War- 
Cue^  593.     Destructive  Engines  dvilize  War,  594.     Slaughter  of 
Wounded,  why  Disdvilizing,  595.    Use  of  poisoned  Arrows  a  Step  in 
the  civilizing  of  War,  596.    Moorsom  Shells  an  Instrument  of  Civi- 
hzed  WarfEffe,  597.    Our  Poet-laureate  on  the  Horrors  of  Peace  and 
the  Blessings  of  War,  598.     On  War^ancing,  599.     The  Chinese 
Barbarous  in  the  Conduct  of  War,  599.    Some  Chinese  War-dandng 
at  the  Siege  of  Shanghae,  600.    A  Shot  on  the  Great  Biver,  603. 
British  War-dancing,  605.    Struggle  with  Bussia  anticipated,  and 
Public  Service  Examinations  recommended  nine  years  ago,  605.    Our 
Boasting  Barbarous,  608.    Military  Bands,  610.    *^  Maud  "  and  Noses, 
snub  and  aquiline,  610.    BarbariBms  of  our  Dress,  611.    Our  black 
Haty  612.    Nature  and  purposes  of  Dress  generally,  612.    Civilizing 
Prooees  requires  Independence,  613.    On  Shaving,  614.    On  Military 
Dress,  615.    Treatment  of  Ammals  by  Chinese  and  JngUhSaxonSi  615. 
Our  Treatment  of  Horses,  &c.,  615.  Chinese  Procedure  with  domestic 
ATiiwift^bi^  616.    Chinese  Boy  and  Goose,  616.    Chinese  Servants  and 
Shan^iae  Fowl,  617.    Dogs  and  Moral  Agencies,  618.    Communica- 
ti(m  with  Dogs  by  language,  618.  Importance  of  Language  to  Civilization^ 
620.    Universal  language  now  Forming,  622.    Civilization  simplifies 
Forms  of  Address,  623.    Gain  from  simplification  of  our  Offidal 
Letters,  624.    Simplification  of  Forms  in  the  House  of  Commons, 
625.    Barbarous  Old  English  Lettering  in  the  House,  627.    The  same 
on  the  new  Florin,  627.   Scott's  Novels  and  barbaridng  Imitations  of 
ancient  Times,  628.    Slavery  essentially  Barbarouiy  G28.    The  States  of 
ancient  Greece  Barbarous  as  Slave  States,  629.    The  Fine  Arts  not 


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Ix  CONTENTS. 

a  Proof  of  true  CiTilication,  031.  Anglo-Saxon  Females  really  Blaves, 
632.  GiTilization  requires  Political  Union  of  Nations,  633.  Position  o£ 
Females  in  Ohina^  634.  Duelling,  635.  Civilization  and  FreedoxD, 
636.  Freedom  in  China,  637.  Value  of  British  fundamental  Insti- 
tutions, 637. 

Appendix  A^-43n  Mhjtabt  Dbebs. 
Appendix  B.— Form  fob  OrpioiAii  Lettebs. 
Appendix  C— -ExBCunoii  at  Canton. 


Map  of  China  Pbopeb,  to  face  Title. 

Sketch  Map  of  the  Chinebe  Empibe,  tofaoepoffe  1. 

Sketch  Map  of  Ewano  Tung,  to  face  page  6. 


ERRATA. 


At  page  48,  line  26,  for  <<fkTombl7*'  read  <<  fiiTorable." 

n  „    49,lme23,for"Meaon"raid'<Meaoa." 

n  n    H  line  16,  for  '*  An  tchaag  fou  "  read  "  On  tehang  fon." 

„  „  108,  note^  line  1,  for  "  Ham  kenn  "  read  <'Han  keua." 

„  „  187,  line  9,  for  "  peik "  read  «  peih." 

„  „  176,  line  80,  for  "  They  then  defeated"  read  "  They  there  defeated." 

„  „  196,  line  25,  for  "  Chin  heang  "  read  *'  Chin  keang." 

„  „  207,  line  19,  for  "  Tang  ehun  "  read  "  Tung  shun." 

,t  n  ^\  line  86,  at  the  end  of  the  seoond  paragraph  supply  a  ]. 

„  „  261,  Ime  7,  for  "  Tee  ping"  read  " Tae  ping." 

„  „  261.  Une  10,  for  "  text "  read  "  last  page." 

„  „  806,  line  8,  for  "  ten  years  "  read  "  eleyen-  years." 

„  „  864,  lines  16  and  22,  for  «  Panthier "  read  "  Pauthier." 

n  i>  470,  line  24,  for  "they  oiay  not  act  together"  road  "they  may  act 
together." 


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r 


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:(x 


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„./- 


\ 


s:. 


THE 


CHINESE  AND  THEIE  EEBELLIONS. 


CHAPTER  I. 


POLITICAL  QEOaRAPHY  AND  ADMINISTRATIVE 
MACHINERY. 

The  present  ChiDese  Empire  is  composed  of  five  great 
divisions,  Manchooria,  Mongolia,  Turkestan  or  Little  Bu- 
charia,  Tibet,  and  lastly  China  Proper.  It  is  with  the  last 
only,  which  is  occupied  by  the  360  millions  of  that  peculiar 
people  whom  we  call  Chinese,  that  we  have  here  almost 
exclusively  to  do. 

The  first-named  divisions  are  of  great  extent,  are  thinly 
inhabited,  as  compared  with  China  Proper,  and  are  each 
much  less  civilized. 

Manchooria  is  the  country  of  the  Manchoo  Tartars,  a  half 
settled,  half  nomadic  race  which  has  attracted  attention 
chiefly  because  it  is  that  from  which  sprang  the  present 
Imperial  dynasty  of  China. 

Mongolia  is  mainly  composed  of  deserts ;  and  is  altogether 
occupied  by  veritable  nomads,  shepherds  living  in  tents. 
They  are  the  most  believing  of  Lamaistic  Buddhists. 

Turkestan  is  inhabited  by  a  settled  Turkish  race  of  Ma- 
hommedan  faitL  It  contains  the  two  great  and  famed  cities 
of  Cashgar  and  Yarkand;  besides  a  few  smaller,  bearing 
names  less  familiar  to  our  ears. 


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2  THE  CHINESE   AND  THEIR  EEBELLIONS. 

Tibet  is  likewise  inhabited  by  a  settled  people.  It  is  the 
centre  and  stronghold  of  Lamaistic  Buddhism ;  whose  chief, 
the  Dalai  Lama,  the  incarnate  Buddha,  has  his  seat  in  its 
capital,  Lassa. 

Each  of  these  four  great  divisions  is,  then,  inhabited  hj  a 
distinct  people,  speaking  each  its  own  language,  and  each 
marked  by  peculiar  national  manners.  To  the  mind  of  the 
Chinaman,  more,  perhaps,  than  they  would  be  to  us,  these 
several  territories  are  uncultivated,  wild,  "uncomfortable" 
regions ;  to  him  the  languages  are  jargons  and  the  manners 
"  barbarous."  Chinese  mandarins  (officials),  who  are  (rightly 
or  wrongly)  held  convicted  of  administrative  faults,  are  sent 
by  the  Emperor  to  some  high  or  low  post  in  these  portions 
of  his  dominions  as  a  punishment.  If  our  institutions  per- 
mitted it,  and  Her  Majesty  were  to  send  unsuccessful  minis- 
ters to  Capeland  to  "  soothe "  the  Dutch  Colonists  and 
"  tranquillize  "  the  CafFres,  it  would  form  a  tolerably  close 
parallel  to  what  occurs  frequently  in  China.  So  also,  if  one 
were  put  in  charge  of  Ceylon  with  strict  injunctions  '*  to 
repair  past  short-comings  by  future  good  services" — the  stereo- 
typed official  phrase  on  such  occasions.  Still  closer  parallels 
are  found  in  Bussia,  when  the  Emperor  transfers  one  of  his 
"  mandarins  "*  from  Muscovy  to  Siberia  or  Kamskatka. 

In  spite  of  this  view  taken  of  the  "  outer "  dominions  of 
their  Sovereign,  the  redundancy  of  the  population  in  China 
proper  itself,  together  with  the  enterprising  mercantile  and 
colonizing  spirit  of  the  Chinese,  is  the  cause  that  numbers  of 
them  are  to  be  found  throughout  these  very  territories  as 
settlers  or  as  traders ;  by  whom,  and  by  the  Chinese  officials, 
Chinese  ideas,  and  even  Chinese  words  have  been  introduced, 
and  have  more  or  less  (partially)  modified  the  original  man- 
ners and  languages.  Tibet  and  Turkestan  have  been  the 
least  influenced  in  this  way.     The  latter,  the  latest  of  the 

*  Chin  is  one  of  the  names  of  the  Chinese  mandarins  or  chinovink,  I  may 
add  that  Enssia  appears  to  me  to  have  borrowed  many  good  administratiye 
roles  from  China. 


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POLITICAL  aEOGRAPHT.  8 

'^annexed''  or  conquered  territories,  holds  a  relation  to  China 
very  moch  like  that  of  Algeria  to  France.  In  a  last  ex- 
tremity, the  Emperor  might  withdraw  his  garrisons  from  both 
to  aid  in  extinguishing  existing  rebellions  in  China,  Apart 
from  this  possibility,  the  two  former  Countries  can  exercise 
no  influence  on  the  march  of  events  in  the  latter,  and  may, 
therefore,  be  left  out  of  further  consideration  in  this  volume.'!^ 

Manchooria  and  Mongolia  have  been  somewhat  more  in- 
fluenced by  Chinese  civilization ;  especially  the  former,  whose 
original  Tartar  language  has  been  nearly  superseded  by  that 
of  China.  The  Manchoos  may  be  said  to  consist  of  the 
fiunily  and  clan  or  tribe  of  the  present  Imperial  House.  It 
was  their  military  support  which  placed  it  in  possession  of 
the  Imperial  Throne  210  years  ago;  and  upon  which  it  now 
greatly  relies  for  its  maintenance  in  that  possession.  Next 
to  his  own  nation  of  Manchoo  Tartars,  the  Emperor  looks  for 
assistance  to  the  Mongols,  which  latter,  as  Tartars,  have  con- 
mderable  affinity  with  the  former;  and  whose  Princes  and 
Chiefs  moreover  stand  mostly  in  the  relation  of  consan- 
guinity to  the  present  dynasty,  in  consequence  of  marriages 
during  successive  generations  with  daughters  of  the  Imperial 
House — marriages  ambitious  on  the  one  side,  politic  on  the 
other. 

The  Chinese,  in  referring  to  the  above  four  territories,  use  in 
writing  and  in  conversation  the  aggregate  appellative  ^'£ow 
wae.  Outside  of  the  gates  or  passes,"  because  Manchooria 

*  Since  the  aboTe  was  written  intelligence  has  reached  us  of  an  inyasion  of 
Thibet  by  the  Nepaolese.  The  British  public  and  oar  Indian  goyemment  do 
not  appear  to  be  alive  to  the  fact  that  this  is  as  much  an  attack  on  the  Emperor 
of  China  as  an  inyasion  of  Algeria  would  be  an  attack  on  Napoleon  III.  or  an 
inTaaion  of  British  India  an  attack  on  Queen  Yictoria.  It  is  reallj  yery  likely 
timt  the  Emperor  Heen  fung  has  been  prerented  by  this  Nepaulese  attack 
from  drawing  forces  from  his  Thibetan  garrisons  to  aid  him  against  the  rebels 
in  China.  The  Indian  papers  appear  to  be  rather  congratulating  themselves 
on  the  faet  of  a  somewhat  dangerous  neighbour  being  otherwise  occupied  than 
in  annoying  as.  They  do  not  however  reflect  that  his  present  occupation  may 
have  considerable  though  indirect  influence  on  the  future  of  the  Indian 
opium  and  cotton  trade  with  China. 

b2 


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4  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

and  Mongolia  do  literally  lie  on  the  *' outside"  of  the  gates 
in  the  great  wall,  while  Tibet  lies  beyond  the  "passes"  in 
the  western  mountains.  A  Chinese  rebel,  if  successful,  will 
endeavour  to  get  possession  of  all  ultimately ;  because  these, 
and  even  more  of  the  contiguous  regions,  have  been  in  the 
course  of  history  under  the  sway  of  the  **  black-haired 
race"  of  China.  But  he  will  consider  his  work  substantially- 
achieved  when  the  360  millions  of  the  latter  accord  him  their 
allegiance,  and  when  he  is  thus  undisputed  master  of  the 
"  Shih  pa  sang,  the  Eighteen  provinces ;"  the  term  by  which 
China  Proper  is  commonly  designated  in  conversation. 

This  China  Proper  being  one  country,  occupied  by  one  race, 
speaking  one  language,  Europeans  are  very  apt  to  picture  to 
themselves  as  about  the  size  of  one  country  in  Europe,  as 
for  instance  France ;  only  populated  throughout  with  an 
astounding, — an  almost  incredible — density,  like  that  of  the 
basin  of  Paris,  or  of  our  manufacturing  and  shipping  district, 
around  Manchester  and  Liverpool  This  is  a  most  confusing 
conception.  China  is  not  more  densely  populated  than  Eng- 
land; and  contains  its  360  millions  only  because  of  its 
enormous  territorial  extent.  If  the  reader  imagine  to 
himself  Scotland  doubled  down  upon  the  north-west  of 
England  and  upon  Wales,  and  then  picture  to  himself 
eighteen  of  such  compact  Great  Britains  placed  together  so 
as  to  form  one  well  rounded  state,  he  will  attain  a  more 
correct  notion  of  the  extent  and  population  of  China  Proper, 
as  composed  of  its  Eighteen  provinces.  Some  of  these 
provinces  consist  almost  entirely  of  alluvial  plains,  but  the 
greater  number  exhibit  an  alternation  of  fertile  river  valleys, 
covered,  like  that  of  the  Thames,  with  large,  populous  towns ; 
and  of  thinly  inhabited  hilly  or  mountainous  regions,  more 
or  less  difficult  of  access. 

The  two  large  islands  on  the  coast  of  China  form  portions  of 
two  of  these  provinces,  Formosa  belonging  to  the  province  of 
Fuh-keen,  Haenan  to  that  of  Kwangtung.  The  seaboard,  and 
the  plains  of  these  islands  have  long  been  occupied  by  Chinese 


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POLITICAL  GEOGRAPHY.  5 

settlerSj  who  have  forced  the  aborigines  back  into  the  moun- 
tain recesses ;  but  as  the  doings  neither  of  the  Aborigines  nor 
of  the  colonists,  exercise  modifying  influence  on  the  political 
state  of  the  mainland,  we  may  dismiss  them  from  consideration 
here.  To  some  aboriginal  tribes  on  the  mainland  I  must  how- 
ever devote  a  little  space,  as  it  has  been  erroneously  supposed 
that  with  them  the  present  religious  rebellion  originated. 

I  have  compared  the  Eighteen  provinces  of  China  Proper 
to  Eighteen  Great  Britains.     To  make  the  comparison  more 
exact,  all  Celts  (Scottish  or  Welsh)  must  be  subtracted  from 
fourteen  of  these  Great  Britains ;  fourteen  of  the  eighteen 
Chinese    provinces    being    inhabited  by  the   homogeneous 
Chinese  only.     In  the  remaining  four,  the  more  rugged  pro- 
vinces in  the  south  west  of  China,  there  are  to  be  found 
among  the  mountains  certain  non-Chinese  tribes,  bearing  a 
relation  to  the  Chinese  who  have  for  many  hundreds  of  years 
occupied  the  more  accessible  and  largest  portions  of  these 
four  provinces,  similar  to  that  which  the  Celts  of  the  moun- 
tuns  did,  about  100  years   ago,  to  the  Anglo  Saxons  in 
the  rest  of  Great  Britain.     They  wear  peculiar  dresses  and 
speak  peculiar  languages,  or  more  probably  dialects  of  one 
language,  which  have  never  been  reduced  to  writing.     They 
have   occasionally  disturbed   the  peace  of   those  provinces 
within  which  their  hills  are  included  by  devastating  irrup- 
tions into  the  level  lands  occupied  by  the  Chinese.     But 
these   irruptions   have   never  assumed   a  more  permanent 
character  than  that   of  passing  incursions ;    and,  when  the 
population  of  the  thirteen  or  fourteen  provinces  into  which 
they  have  never  even  entered  is  taken  into  consideration,  the 
aggregate  number  of  all  these  highland  tribes  becomes,  com- 
paratively, a  mere  drop  in  the  bucket.    They  are  of  no  political 
weight ;  the  utmost  that  they  can  do  being  to  furnish  a  few 
thousands  of  fighting  men  to  Armies  of  Chinese  when  the 
latter  are  disputing  the  Sovereignty  of  the  Empire  among 
themselves.    The  province  of  Kwangse,  in  which  the  present 
religious  movement  took  its  rise,  contains  the  most  of  these 


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6  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

aboriginal  mountaineers ;  some  of  whom  certainly  joined  the 
rebels5  while  some,  I  believe,  assisted  the  Imperialists.  Those 
who  joined  the  ranks  of  the  rebels  were,  doubtless,  a  wel- 
come addition  to  their  originally  small  force.  But  as  the 
rebels,  in  their  march  northward,  left  the  vicinity  of  the 
mountain  homes  of  these  auxiliaries,  the  latter  became  daily 
a  more  insignificant  part  of  an  army  that  was  rapidly  in- 
creasing by  large  accessions  of  pure  Chinese.  I  repeat,  the 
mountaineers,  even  when  they  act  together, — which  they 
rarely  or  never  do — are  politically  insignificant  in  China. 
They  could  not,  and  did  not,  originate  or  organize  the  rising 
which  is  the  chief  subject  of  this  volume ;  and  in  which  I 
shall,  therefore  not  again  dwell  upon  them. 

The  division  of  China  Proper  into  its  eighteen  provinces 
is,  be  it  remembered,  merely  political  or  administrative.  The 
people  are  the  same  in  all ;  the  differences  in  manners  and 
dialects  being  no  other  in  kind,  and  scarcely  greater  in 
degree,  than  exist  with  us  between  the  Glasgow  factory  man 
and  the  Somersetshire  peasant,  or  the  Northumbrian  ''hind*' 
and  the  Cornish  miner. 

In  order  to  understand  the  executive  system  by  which 
China  Proper  is  governed,  it  is  specially  necessary  to  keep 
the  eye  fixed  on  the  territorial  division  which  is  called 
a  district.  It  is  about  the  size  of  a  county  in  Great  Britain, 
each  of  the  eighteen  provinces  containing  on  an  average 
eighty  such.*^  Each  of  these  districts  has  its  capital,  its 
district-city,  surrounded  by  walls,  and  held  (by  government- 

*  Ab  we  hare  two  names,  county  and  shire,  so  the  Chinese  have  three,  heen, 
chow,  and  ting.  For  further  details  on  the  provincial  executire  than  are 
furnished  in  the  text  see:  Desultory  Notes  on  the  Chinese,  hy  the  writer. 
I  recommend  the  reader  to  forget  altogether  the  designations,  "  cities  of  the 
first,  second  and  third  order,"  brought  into  use  by  the  old  French  missionaries. 
It  is  a  nomenclature  not  always  founded  on  the  respective  rank,  still  less  on 
the  official  powers  and  duties  of  the  authorities  in  these  cities.  There  is  a  name 
in  Chinese  agreeing  with  the  term  "  city  of  the  second  order,"  but  there  is  no 
corresponding  thing  with  a  separate  distinctive  existence  in  reality ;  as  all  cities 
bearing  this  name  (chow)  are,  one  moiety  of  them,  equivalent  to  cities  of  the 
first  order;  the  other  moiety,  equivalent  to  cities  of  the  third  order. 


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( 


/* 


\ 


TflK   FiV£    CI&CIT1T3  OF   KWA^G  TUNG. 

NB.Ths  dtpartauni-  cf  Knmnif  cKffn, 
htinff  ths'  jtaiufn-  of  the  hi^Ker  prc- 
rineuU-  aui/u'rUies  ir  net  undtr  the 
cenlrv$tl/  i/'ar^hiteneiMni^orGnaui 
\.THK  XAN  ailAS  LEEX  CJRVriT. 
Sha^ii/   cJicn-    dipartmefU 

I^.eert/  cfww  „ 

n,ra/:  HwuK  riiAoi'  kea    circuit. 

Mvt^  chffw   ritpartmsnl 
Efo/  yifUf  ^„ 

Kih  hang  '., 

m.r/IE    SHAOU  LO    CTHCUIT. 

Shuou  Muut  departments  ''"'         -  i 

Lc    iuiff  „ 

IV.  TUE   KAOU   LEES    CIRCUIT.    '       . 

AoMt'    chtm  eUpartment 

J^een   chctv  „ 

X,TnE  ZUr  EEUNG     CIRtUtT. 

Luy  cJun*    depeirinurU' 

Knuig  chew  „ 


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ADMINISTRATIVE  MACHINEfiT.  7 

regulation)  to  be  capable  of  standing  a  siege.  In  each  of 
these  cities  is  stationed  a  civil  mandarin,  who  is  an  all- 
important  official  for  the  Chinese  people,  and  therefore  for  the 
Chinese  government.  He  is  at  once  the  director  of  police, 
the  sheriff,  the  coroner,  the  receiver  of  taxes,  and,  what  vreighs 
more  than  all,  the  judge  at  first  instance  of  all  cases  civil 
and  criminal  that  occur  within  the  bounds  of  his  shire  or 
district.  He  is  called  hy  our  translators,  the  district  maffis- 
irate;  but  it  will  be  seen  from  the  above,  that  the  word 
"  magistrate  *'  indicates  but  very  inadequately  the  extent  of 
his  powers  and  duties.  He  has  always  one  other  civil  man- 
darin under  him,  and  in  the  same  city ;  viz.,  the  inspector  of 
police  or  prison-master ;  who  is  specially  responsible  to  him 
and  to  the  Imperial  Government,  for  the  custody  of  the 
prisoners  in  the  district  jail.*  In  more  populous  districts  he 
is  aided  by  one  or  two  inspectors  of  police  stationed  out  at 
towns  or  large  villages  of  his  district;  and  often  by  an 
official,  of  a  little  higher  rank  than  the  preceding  and  entitled 
by  foreigners  the  a^^/anMistrict-magistrate.  There  are 
also  one  or  two  educational  mandarins  stationed  in  every 
dbtrict  city  to  assist  the  district  magistrate  in  the  primary 
examination  of  candidates  for  the  public  service ;  the  super* 
intendence  of  which  forms  another  of  his  multifarious  duties. 
All  these  subordinates  are  mandarins,  t.  e.  functionaries  de- 
riving their  appointments  from  the  central  imperial  govern- 
ment, and  fitted  by  social  standing  to  appear  at  the  table  of 
the  magistrate  himself.  But  besides  these  he  has  under  him 
a  whole  host  of  lower  agents  :  clerks,  judicial  and  fiscal, 
tax-gatherers,  bailiffs,  turnkeys  and  policemen. 

*  There  are  two  of  these  officers  in  Ching  too  the  capital  of  Sze  ohaen,  with 
one  of  whom  M.  Hoc  was  lodged  daring  his  sUy  there.  He  and  his  companion 
were  in  fact  "  in  prison  "  though  not  actually  lodged  in  the  common  jail,  and 
the  two  rigorous  indiriduals  whom  M.  Hue  so  amusiDgly  describes,  but  whom 
he  calls  **  mandarins  d'honneur/'  were  in  reality  special  *' guards"  appointed 
for  the  better  security  of  prisoners  of  unusual  importance.  Hence  they  stood 
at  the  back  of  M.  Hue  and  his  companion,  when  the  latter  were  being  examined 
by  the  assembled  authorities. 


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8  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

The  next  kind  of  territorial  divisions  for  administrative 
purposes  on  which  it  is  necessary  to  fix  the  attention  are  the 
departments^^  each  of  which  is  composed  of  a  group  of  the 
districts  just  described.  The  departments  vary  greatly  in 
size,  some  consisting  of  only  two  or  three  districts,  others  of 
as  many  as  twelve  or  fifteen.  The  average  throughout  the 
Eighteen  provinces  is  six  districts  to  a  department.  At  the 
head  of  the  affairs  of  each  department  stands  a  civilian,  the 
prefect  or  departmental  judge.  To  him  suitors  may  appeal 
from  the  district  courts.  His  Yamun  or  official  residence 
is  in  a  subject  district  city,  which  then  ceases  to  be  called 
such  and  is  known  as  the  departmental-city.  It  is  the  often 
occurring  Foo  of  the  maps  of  China. 

A  few  departments,  on  an  average,  three,  are  again  grouped 
into  circuits  at  the  head  of  which  stands  a  civilian  called, 
Intendant  (Taou  tae).  To  him  appeals  lie  from  the  depart- 
mental courts,  but  he  performs  in  reality  very  few  judicial 
or  fiscal  duties ;  being  rather  a  superintending  administrator 
of  general  affairs.  He  is  the  lowest  civilian  that  exercises  a 
direct  ex-officio  authority  over  the  military,  an  authority 
which  comes  into  play  in  the  case  of  local  risings  against  the 
proceedings  of  his  subordinates.  He  usually  resides  in  one 
of  the  foo  or  departmental  cities ;  but  when  these  have  been 
outstripped  in  wealth  and  population  by  one  of  the  district 
cities  of  his  circuit,  he  is  sometimes  stationed  in  such  district 
city.t 

All  the  above-named  officials :  district  magistrates,  prefects 
and  intendants,  are  distributed  throughout  the  provinces 
in  their  respective  jurisdictions.  We  have  now  to  consider 
those  functionaries  who  are  stationed  in  the  Provincial- 
capital,  or  chief  city  of  each  province;  and  who  manage 
all  the  affairs  of  such  province  in  behalf  of  the  Imperial 
Central  Government  at  Peking. 

ft  They  have  two  names  in  Chinese,  Foo  and  Chih  le  chow, 
f  The  Intendant  at  the  district  city  of  Shanghae  is  an  instance.    Amoy, 
where  the  Intendant  of  the  Circuit  resides,  is  not  eyen  a  district  city. 


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ADMINISTRATIVE  MACHINERY.  9 

The  first  is  an  official  charged  with  the  general  control  of 
all  aifiurs.  In  some  provinces  he  bears  the  title  of  Governor, 
in  others  that  of  Governor  General,*  but  his  powers  and 
duties  are  the  same  in  all.  He  is  Commander  in  chief  as 
well  as  principal  civilian,  in  the  province,  and  is  the  only 
official  in  it  who  is  empowered  to  write  to  the  Cabinet  Council 
and  to  address  the  Emperor,f  with  whom  he  maintains  a  con- 
stant correspondence  on  all  affiiirs.  This  privilege,  more 
than  any  other,  confirms  his  already  ex-officio  power  over  all 
other  mandarins  in  the  province ;  any  one  of  whom  he  can 
suspend  in  the  first  place,  and  then  denounce  to  the  Emperor 
for  degradation  or  absolute  dismissal.  We  may  add  that  he 
has  the  legal  power  of  issuing  death-warrants  in  certain 
flagrant  cases,  such  as  piracy,  gang  robbery,  &c. 

Immediately  under  the  Governor  stand  three  officials 
whose  authority  extends  to  all  parts  of  the  province ;  but 
only  in  matters  relating  to  that  branch  of  public  business 
with  which  each  is  specially  entrusted.  These  are,  the 
Superintendent  of  Provincial  Finances,  the  Provincial  Criminal 
Judge,  and  the  Provincial  Edticational  Examiner. 

The  first  receives  the  taxes  from  the  district  magistrates ; 

•  In  five  of  the  eighteen  proTinces  there  is  both  a  Qovemor  and  a  Governor- 
general  ;  the  latter  of  whom  exercises  an  authority  over  one  or  two  of  the 
adjoining  provinoes  in  addition  to  that  in  which  he  is  stationed.  But  as  he  is, 
even  in  this  latter,  rather  the  soperordinated  associate  than  the  official  chief  of 
the  Qovemor,  with  whom  he  divides  the  duties  and  powers  (that  of  addressing 
the  Emperor  included),  it  is  not  requisite  to  the  right  comprehension  of  tfie 
cutministrative  system  to  think  of  more  than  one  such  superior  official  in  each 
province.  Both  the  Governor  and  the  Governor  General  (whose  title  is  in 
Chinese  lUeraUy  tsnng  tuh,  general  governor)  have  been  called  viceroys,  a 
confosing  designation  for  Europeans.  For  these  mandarins  are  not  men  of 
high  hereditary  rank,  noblemen  or  princes,  taken  from  private  life  and  sent 
to  the  provinces  to  represent  the  Imperial  dignity.  They  are  regular  members 
of  the  civil  service,  who  took  in  early  life  one  of  the  higher  degrees  at  the 
public  examinations,  and  commenced  their  official  career  with  one  of  the  subor- 
dinate posts ;  not  a  few  as  district  magistrates. 

f  Some  of  the  superior  military  officers  have  this  right  as  regards  the  affiiirs 
of  the  army,  but  they  rarely  avail  themselves  of  a  privilege  the  exercise  of 
which  would  draw  on  them  the  enmity  of  the  Governor,  in  whose  hands  there- 
fore the  advancement  to  all  the  better  military  posts  virtually  lies. 


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10  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

and  accounts  for  them,  first  to  the  Governor  andjthen  to  the 
Fiscal  Board  at  Peking. 

To  the  second  the  district  magistrates  deliver  all  criminals 
sentenced  hj  them  to  banishment  or  death ;  he  re-examines 
them  and  reports  their  cases,  first  to  the  Governor,  and  then 
to  the  Criminal  Board  at  Peking.* 

The  third,  the  Educational  Examiner,  repairs  twice  in 
every  three  years  to  each  departmental  city  (foo)  in  the  pro- 
vince, and  then,  with  the  aid  of  the  Prefect  conducts,  in  the 
Examination-hall,  the  last  of  the  series  of  primary  exami- 
nationB,f  after  which  a  legally  fixed  number  of  candidates 
from  each  district  attain  the  first  or  lowest  degree  (bachelor). 
As  the  public  examinations  form  the  peculiar  feature,  and  the 
basis  of  the  Chinese  governmental  system,  I  shall  have  to 
devote  a  page  or  two  farther  on  to  their  special  consideration. 
In  the  meantime,  I  would  here  awaken  the  mind  of  the  reader 
to  their  vast  practical  importance  by  stating  that  the  origi- 
nator and  acknowledged  chief  of  the  present  formidable 
revolutionary  movement  was  a  candidate  who  failed,  after 
attending  several  examinations,  to  receive  this  degree  from 
the  Educational  Examiner  of  his  province.  Had  he  attained 
it,  he  would  in  all  probability  have  become  one  of  the  ordi- 
nary place  and  promotion  seekers  in  the  ofiicial  career,  instead 
of  bringing  about  a  dynastic  crisis. 

The  Provincial  Educational  Examiner  corresponds  with 
the  Bitual  and  Educational  Board  in  Peking ;  but  his  cor- 
respondence, as  also  that  of  the  Superintendent  of  Finances 
and  Criminal  Judge  with  their  respective  Boards,  is  wholly 
of  a  routine  and  formal  nature,  while  they  do  not  communi- 
cate at  all  with  the  Cabinet  Council,  or  with  the  Emperor. 

*  The  fact  of  the  district  magistrate  (it  would  be  well  to  change  his  title  in 
English  to  that  of  district  Judge,  the  sentences  of  death  and  banishment  which 
he  passes  being  rarely  rescinded)  dealing  directly  with  these  two  authorities, 
lessens  the  practical  influence  of  the  intermediate  officers,  the  Prefects  of  de- 
partment and  Intendants  of  Circuit ;  whose  posts  are  therefore  sought  after 
chiefly  because  they  are  the  necessary  steps  to  further  advancement. 

f  I  have  stated  above  that  the  district  magistrates!  and  educational  officers 
of  the  districts  conduct  the  preliminary  examinations  of  the  series. 


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ADMINISTRATIVE  MACHINEBT.  11 

The  Governor  remains  essentially  tJie  link  between  the  central 
and  the  provincial  administrative  systems.  Most  of  the  Pro- 
vincial capitals  contain  from  five  to  seven  hundred  thousand 
inhabitants ;  several  of  them  from  one  to  two  or  even  three 
millions.*  The  territorial  divisions  have  been  so  arranged 
that  the  Provincial  capital  is  always  a  Foo  or  chief  city  of  a 
department,  while  the  common  boundary  lines  of  two  (some- 
times of  three)  contiguous  districts  run  through  it.  The 
district  ma^stracies  of  those  districts  are  then  built  within 
its  walls,  from  whence  the  magistrates  govern  their  districts, 
lying  out  on  two  (or  three)  sides.  Thus  the  Governor  has 
at  hand  judicial  and  administrative  officials  of  every  kind 
above  described,  besides  a  number  of  others,  auanliaries  of 
iniermediate  rank,  whom  my  space  barely  permits  me  to  name, 
— such  as  fiscal  and  judicial  secretaries,  treasurers  and  prison- 
masters,  attached  to  the  Superintendent  of  Finances  and 
ProvincialJudge ;  sub-prefects  and  deputy  sub-prefects;  and 
the  civil  and  military  secretaries,  or  aide-de-camps  of  the 
Governor  himself.  All  these  are  actual  incumbents  of  office, 
but  in  addition  to  them  I  must  notice,  as  one  of  the  means  of 
conducting  the  administration,  a  great  number  of  expectant 
mandarins,  i.e.  mandarins  temporarily  out  of  office,  and 
placed  by  the  Imperial  Government  in  the  provinces  at  the 
disposal  of  the  Governors  for  the  performance  of  special 
duties  or  missions.  These  unappointed  officials  are  of  every 
rank,  from  that  of  expectant  Intendant  of  Circuit  to  that  of 
expectant  inspector  of  police;  and  are  employed  in  every 
description  of  business  from  that  of  examining  into  the 
causes  of  a  local  insurrection,  (in  which  case  the  report  of  the 
responsible  local  authority  cannot  be  relied  on)  to  the  escort- 
ing of  a  prisoner  into  the  contiguous  province. 

*  Woochang,  the  capital  of  Hoo  pih,  contains  with  Han  yang  and  Han  kov 
(which  are  onW  separated  from  it  by  the  Yang-tsze,  and  from  each  other  by  a 
smaller  stream)  certainly  not  fewer  inhabitants  than  London  and  all  its  suburbs. 
M.  Hoc,  the  last  foreigner  who  passed  through  the  place,  says  that  these  "threo 
cities  which,  so  to  speak,  form  only  one  "  are  held  to  contain  about  and 
millions,  and  he  leaves  ns  to  suppose  that  he  saw  no  reason  to  '"fftvipfif  ^f 
nnmber  an  orer-estimation.  ''^ 


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12  THE   CHINESE  AND  THEIK  REBELLIONS. 

As  there  is  a  civil  and  an  educational  establishment  for  each 
province,  so  there  is  also  for  each  a  Chinese  army.*  The 
strength  of  these  provincial  armies  varies,  from  the  smallest 
of  about  8,000  men  and  officers,  in  Gan-hwuy — an  inland 
province  inhabited  exclusively  by  Chinese,  and  therefore 
neither  exposed  to  the  depredations  of  pirates  and  outer  bar- 
barians nor  of  savage  mountaineers — to  the  largest,  of  about 
68,000  in  Kwang-tung,  a  province  with  an  extensive  sea- 
coast,  as  well  as  mountaineers  within  its  westerly  boundary- 
lines.t  Taking  all  the  provinces,  the  average  for  each  is 
about  34,500  men  and  640  officers  from  the  General  to  the 
Ensign,  or  about  one  officer  to  fifty -two  men.  J  I  beg  the 
reader  to  remark  the  smallhess  of  this  force  for  a  territory 
as  large  in  extent  and  population  as  Great  Britain.  The 
Governor  of  the  province  is  the  Commander  in  chief.  He  is 
assisted  in  most  provinces  by  a  General-in-chief,  in  all  by  a 
greater  or  less  number  of  Lieutenant  and  Major  Generals ; 
who  are  distributed  throughout  the  province  at  stations  of 
presumed  strategical  importance.  The  divisions  of  each  of 
such  subordinate  general  officers,  are  again  subdivided  into 
detachments  throughout  that  portion  of  the  province  over 
which  the  command  of  each  extends,  in  such  manner,  that 
nearly  every  district  city  has  in  it  a  garrison,  large  or  small. 
In  fact,  of  the  whole  force  in  the  Eighteen  provinces  of 
602,836  privates,  320,927  are  called  ''garrison  infantry," 
while  194,815  are  mobile  infantry  and  87,094  cavalry. 
Each  Governor,  besides  commanding  in  chief  the  whole  force 
of  his  province,  has,  in  and  around  the  provincial  capital,  his 

*  I  shall  have  to  devote  a  page  farther  on  to  the  consideration  of  the  Tartar 
garrisons,  which  Mr.  T.  T.  Wade  fitly  characterises  (in  his  yaluablft  little  work 
on  the  Chinese  Army,  Canton,  1851)  as  **  the  force  of  the  usurping  family." 

t  Of  these  68,000  men  and  officers  about  one-third  in  the  seaboard  provinces 
are  "water  soldiers"  or  marines,  forming  a  naval  force  something  like  the 
Kussian,  in  so  far  as  they  are  cantoned  on  shore.  A  small  fraction  of  these  in 
Kwang  tung  being  cavalry,  those  fond  of  a  "  Punchy  "  joke  may  say  that  among 
other  strange  things,  China  has  "  a  squadron  of  horse  marines." 

X  According  to  the  last  "  Estimates,"  the  proportion  in  the  British  army 
is  1  to  26. 


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ADMINISTRATIVE   MACHINERY.  13 

own  special  command  consisting  of  a  division  of  two  or  three 
thousand  strong  under  his  Adjutant ;  who  is  always  either  a 
Colonel  or  Lieutenant  Colonel. 

In  dosing  our  view  of  a  Chinese  province  and  its  executive 
administrators^  I  may  request  the  reader  to  recall  the  already 
oflen  employed  comparison  between  such  province  and  a 
doubled-down  Great  Britain.  Let  him  picture  to  himself  in 
the  midst  of  its  seventy  to  ninety  shires  or  districts  (and 
nearly  centrally  situated  so  far  as  means  of  communication 
is  concerned)  a  more  or  less  large  London,  in  which  resides  a 
Governor,  ruling  from  thence  out  over  the  whole,  by  means 
of  the  above  described,  minutely  graduated,  and  carefully 
organized  services  of  judicial  and  fiscal^  of  educational,  and 
of  military  mandarins.  This  great  functionary  holds  a 
business  levee  every  morning  at  sunrise,  which  is  attended 
daily  by  most  of  the  incumbents  of  office  at  the  capital ;  by 
a  number  of  the  expectant  mandarins  to  whom  some  special 
business  has  been  entrusted ;  and  by  not  a  few  of  the  officials 
from  the  *' outer"  departments  and  districts,  who  come  and 
go  to  forward  their  more  important  business  by  personal 
application  to  him,  as  well  as  to  the  Superintendent  of 
Finances,  and  the  Criminal  Judge.  Besides  this  oral  com- 
munication, there  is  an  enormous  correspondence,  private  and 
official,  carried  on  by  means  of  the  government  post  esta- 
blishment; for  which  there  is  a  separate  service  in  some  of 
the  provinces,  but  which  is  often  attended  to  by  one  of  the 
others,  generally  the  military.  While  each  of  the  eighteen 
Governors  of  the  provinces  is  in  this  incessant  communication 
with  his  host  of  subordinates  on  the  one  hand,  each  is,  on 
the  other  hand,  in  constant  correspondence  with  the  Supreme 
Government  and  the  Emperor  at  Peking ;  which  I  shall  now 
proceed  to  consider. 

As  in  Paris  there  are  a  number  of  Ministhres  and  Cours^ 
and  as  in  London  there  are  a  number  of  Secretaries  of  State 
and  other  Offices  and  of  Boards  of  Commissioners  and 
Courts  of  Law,  charged  each  with  a  specific  department  of 


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14  THE  CHINESE   AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

the  executive  and  judicial  government  of  the  French  and 
British  empires  respectively;  so  there  are  in  Peking  a  number 
of  very  large  Yamun  or  Public  offices y  each  similarly  charged 
with  a  specific  department  in  the  government  of  the  Chinese 
Empire.  And  as  we  in  England  have  a  Privy  Council  and 
a  Cabinet  Council  nearer  the  Sovereign^  and  exercising  the 
general  control  over  the  above  departmental  or  sectional 
Offices  and  Boards ;  so  there  are  over  the  sectional  Yamun 
^or  Public  offices  at  Peking  a  Nuy  ko  or  Inner  Council,  and 
a  Keun  ke  choo,  a  "  place  of  military  movementSy"  or  Strate' 
gical  Office. 

The  first  mentioned,  the  Inner  Council^  consists  of  a  large 
(but  not  unlimited)  number  of  members;  is  methodically 
organized ;  performs  important  but  somewhat  routine  func- 
tions ;  has  its  records ;  is  the  oldest ;  is  stiU  the  highest  in 
rank ;  and  was  originally  the  first  in  practical  power. 

The  second,  the  Strategical  Office^  notwithstanding  its  some- 
what military  name,  closely  parallels  our  Cabinet,  in  its 
composition  out  of  a  few  of  the  most  influential  mandarins 
in  the  Capital ;  in  the  comparatively  informal  nature  of  its 
procedure ;  and  in  its  virtual  exercise  of  the  highest  legisla- 
tive and  executive  duties,  under  the  immediate  eye  of  the 
Sovereign  power.  As,  however,  all  public  business  is  as 
a  general  rule  more  methodically  and  systematically  con- 
ducted in  China  than  in  England,  so  we  find  that  the  Chief 
Council  in  the  state  has  a  small  building  in  the  Palace  for  its 
meetings ;  has  records,  and  carries  on  a  correspondence  by 
means  of  confidential  clerks.  I  have  just  said  ^'  eye  of  the 
sovereign  power."  I  make  use  of  the  term  sovereign  power ^ 
instead  of  sovereign  in  order  to  preserve  the  parallelism  insti- 
tuted between  the  British  and  Chinese  governments;  for 
here  we  arrive  at  a  point  where  that  parallelism  can  strictly 
speaking  no  longer  be  maintained.  In  England  the  ministers 
carry  on  4he  legislation  and  the  administration,  directly 
controlled  with  respect  to  the  former,  unceasingly  watched 
and  questioned  with  respect  to  the  latter,  by  the  houses  of 


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ADMINISTRATIVE  MACHINERY.  15 

parliament.  Nothing  analogous  to  these  exists  in  China; 
where  the  Emperor  is  the  absolute  legislator  and  adminis- 
trator, as  well  as  in  his  own  person  the  highest  criminal 
court  in  the  Empire.  And  I  shall  presently  show  that  the 
theory  and  practice  of  succession  to  the  throne  is  such  as 
often  to  secure  a  virtual  exercise  of  these  functions;  an 
exercise  limited  only  by  the  mental  and  physical  powers  of 
the  man.  What  the  District  Magistrate  is  in  the  District, 
and  the  Governor  in  the  Province,  that  and  more  is  the/ 
Emperor  in  the  Empire — more  particularly,  in  so  far  as  he 
legislates,  which  they  do  not 

I  must,  however,  mention  a  public  oflSce  peculiar  to  China, 
which  i$  specially  charged  with  one  of  the  functions  per- 
formed by  our  parliament.  This  is  the  Too  cha  yuen,  lite- 
raUy,  Court  of  general  Inspection,  but  commonly  called  by 
foreigners  the  Censorate.  It  consists  of  a  large  number  of 
members  whose  duty  is  to  inspect  or  watch  the  proceedings 
of  all  the  other  mandarins,  provincial  and  metropolitan ;  and 
to  make  reports  to  the  Emperor,  pointing  out  their  misdeeds 
and  failures  and  recommending  remedies.  The  check  on 
these  officers,  who  are  called  '^  the  eyes  and  ears  *^  of  the 
Emperor,  is  curious  and  efficient.  He  puts  them  in  the 
places  of  the  mandarins  who  have  failed,  gives  them  full 

powers,  and  says ;  "  Now  you  succeed  or .'^    I  way 

add  that  this  practice  not  only  acts  as  a  check  against  mali- 
cious attacks,  but,  where  the  censor  really  understands  the 
business  he  reports  on,  leads  directly  to  its  efficient  trans- 
action. 


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16  THE  CHINESE   AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 


CHAPTER  II. 

THEORY  AND  PRACTICAL  WORKING   OP   THE  NORMAL 
CHINESE  AUTOCRACY. 

I  HAVE  above  endeavoured  to  describe  summarily  the 
machinery  of  government ;  I  shall  now  try  shortly  to  show 
how  the  several  parts  come  to  be  where  they  are,  in  other 
words  how  the  authorities,  from  the  Emperor  to  the  police 
inspector,  attain  their  positions. 

The  reigning  Emperor  of  China  is  absolute  because  he  is, 
in  the  eyes  of  his  people,  the  Teen  tsze,  the  Son  of  Heaven. 
By  this  no  physical  sonship  is  meant,  but  simply,  that  the 
Emperor  is  the  chosen  agent  and  representative  on  earth  of 
that  supreme  ruling  power  or  providence  of  which  the 
Chinese,  from  the  most  ancient  times  to  the  present  day, 
have  always  had  a  more  or  less  lively  conception  under  the 
name  of  Teen,  or  Heaven.*  As  such  representative  of  this 
supreme  Heavenly  or  Divine  power,  the  authority  of  the 
actual  monarch  is,  by  a  logical  consequence,  unlimited 
except  by  divine  principles.     But  the  idea  of  a  divine  right 

*  The  first  Catholic  misaioiuiries,  in  rendering  the  word  Gk>d,  availed  them- 
seWeB  of  the  existence  of  this  early  belief,  by  using  the  word  Teen,  giving, 
however,  a  greater  personality  to  the  conception  by  adding  to  that  word,  a 
second,  Ohoo,  or  Lord,  and  thus  creating  the  appellative,  "  Teen  Choo, — ^Hea- 
venly Lord "  or  "  Lord  of  Heaven."  Some  Protestant  missionaries  have 
thought  that  Teen  alone  would  be  the  best  rendering.  The  religious  insurgents 
use  as  frequently  as  any  other  the  term  "  Teen  Foo,  Heavenly  Father;  **  and 
in  one  of  their  books  recording  *<  a  descent  of  God  into  the  world,"  they  repre- 
sent Him  as  saying,  "  Teen  she  wo,— Heaven  'tis  I."  The  object  is  evidently 
to  say  to  all  Chinese  who  read  the  books : — *'  The  power  which  you  fear  as 
Heaven,  that  ?ery  power  am  I— the  founder  and  watchful  protector  of  the 
Tae  ping  dynasty." 


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WORKING  OF  THE  NORMAL  AUTOCRACY.        17 

to  tbe  Bovereignity  by  birth  has  never  been  known  to  the 
national  mind.  The  Chinese  have  an  authentic  political 
history  for  4,200  years  back  —  a  history  never  full,  but 
even  in  the  oldest  times  in  a  large  measure  pragmati* 
cal,  or  descriptive  of  the  causes  which  have  led  to  dynastic 
changes.  Now,  from  the  earliest  periods  of  this  history,  it 
has  been  distinctly  taught,  both  by  example  and  by  precept, 
that  no  man  whatever  had  a  hereditary  divine  right  to  the 
throne,  not  the  eldest  son,  nor  even  any  son,  of  its  last 
occupant.^  In  spite  of  the  power  and  influence  that  at  his 
decease  is  in  possession  of  his  family  which  naturally  strives 
to  maintain  its  position,  this  principle  has  always  been 
able  to  assert  for  itself  more  or  less  of  a  practical  operation. 
And  in  modem  times  it  is  not  positively  known,  during  the 
reign  of  any  one  sovereign,  who  will  be  his  successor  in  the 
exercise  of  the  Divinely  delegated  power.  Both  in  theory 
and  in  practice  the  primary  claim  to  the  successorship  is 
given  by  the  death-bed  or  the  testamentary  nomination  of 
the  reigning  sovereign ;  but  it  is  by  good  government  alone 
that  the  nominee  can  fully  establish  his  divine  right.  When 
by  good  government,  in  accordance  with  the  divine  principles, 
as  laid  down  in  the  national  Sacred  works, f  he  has  given 
(or  preserved)  to  the  people,  peace  and  plenty,  and,  as  a 
consequence,  established  himself  in  power  by  his  hold  on  the 
national  esteem  and  affection ;  then  only  will  they  consider 
him,  and  (from  his  similar  education)  then  only  will  he 
consider  himself,  the  veritable  "Fung  teen,  the  Divinely 
appointed,"  the  Son  of  Heaven.  Natural  affection  has  almost 
always  led  to  the  nomination  of  a  relative,  mostly  a  son ;  but 

•  Coori  fiatteien  and  Bhort  sighted  or  veak  Emperors  have,  indeed,  attempted 
to  change  or  oTertum  this  principle,  but  they  have  neyer  been  able  to  obtain 
for  their  views  anything  but  a  temporary  and  very  partial  current^.  There  have 
at  all  times  been  found  patriotic  and  self-sacrificing  mandarins  to  oppose  a  snc- 
oessfnl  resistance  by  word  and  deed. 

t  AboYC  all,  in  that  known  in  Europe  as  the  Historical  Classic.  Were  any 
occupant  of  the  throne  to  hold  language  avowedly  contrary  to  that  book,  it 
would  be  equivalent  to  declaring  himself  an  usurper ;  not  the  Son  of  Heaven. 

C 


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18  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  BEBELLIONS. 

six  out  of  the  seven  emperors  of  the  present  dynasty*  have 
not  been  the  eldest  sons  of  their  fathers ;  while  the  memorable 
fact  is  ever  present  to  the  national  mind,  and  to  the  mind 
of  the  sovereign  as  one  of  the  nation^  that  the  two  great 
historical  musters,  the  revered  ancient  monarchs,  Yaou  and 
Shun^  passed  each  over  his  own  son^  because  accounted 
unworthy,  and  nominated  a  stranger.  The  principle  that 
no  man  is  by  birth  entitled  to  reign  over  them,  is  better 
known  to  the  360  millions  of  China^  than  it  is  known  to  the 
twenty-seven  millions  of  Great  Britain  and  Ireland  that 
they  are  entitled  to  be  tried  by  their  peers, 

I  have  said  that  the  successor  to  the  throne  is  not 
considered  by  others  or  by  himself  the  Divinely  appointed,t 
unless  he  gives  peace  and  plenty  to  the  empire.  So  true  is 
this  that  the  disasters  of  war^  pestilence,  and  famine— even 
earthquakes  and  storms  of  extraordinary  violence,  are  but 
ways  by  which  Heaven  declares  that  the  occupant  of  the 
throne  is  not  its  chosen  representative,  or  that  he  has  ceased 
to  be  such ; — that  it  is  about  to  withdraw  from  him  the 
'^  Teen  ming,  .the  Divine  commission."  All  nature  animate 
or  inanimate  is  based  on  one  principle  or  law,  the  "  Teen  taou, 
or  way  of  Heaven."  So  long  as  the  occupant  of  the  throne 
rules  with  the  rectitude  and;  goodness  which  are  the  chief 
features  of  this  law,  both  man  and  nature  gladly  submit,  and 
peace  and  plenty  prevail.  When  he  violates  this  law,  the 
passions  of  man  and  the  powers  of  the  elements  alike  break 
loose.  A  sincere  repentance,  and  prompt  return  to  con- 
formity with  Heaven's  laws — the  only  true  principles  of 
government — may  yet  still  the  tumult ;  but,  with  their  con- 

*  The  present  fjctmily  obtained  poBsession  of  the  throne  in  1644. 

f  The  Chinese  expression  is  similar  to  oar  occidental  one  of  "  Sovereign  by 
the  ChrcLce  of  Ood"  But  vith  the  Chinese  their  term  has  a  living  meaning 
which  the  occidental  one  has  ceased  to  have— in  England  at  least.  A  Chinaman 
will  often  derive  hope  in  times  of  adversity  and  affliction  by  taming  to  the 
beneficent  ruling  power  the  **laou  teen  or  old  Heaven;"  an  expression  which 
is  then,  in  his  mouth,  very  like  that  of  "  U  ban  dieu  "  in  the  mouth  of  Vhe 
common  Frenchman  under  similar  trials. 


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WORKINa  OP  THE  NORMAL  AUTOCRACY.        19 

tanned  violation,  evils  and  calamities  multiply  until  confusion 
and  discord  reign  paramount  throughout  the  universe.  It  is 
not  merely  insurrections  in  the  inner  country,  nor  the  irrup- 
ti<Mi8  of  **  rebellious'^  barbarians  that  signify  the  displeasure 
of  Heaven  to  the  Emperor  of  China.  Neither  is  that  dis- 
pleasure announced  by  any  enigmatical  Mene,  Mene,  Tekel, 
Upharsin  on  the  walls  of  the  imperial  banqueting-hall.  In 
China  the  rivers  rise  from  their  beds,  the  ground  sullenly 
refuses  its  fruits,  the  plains  tremble,  the  hills  reel,  and  the 
typhoon  rages  over  seas  and  coasts,  all  alike  uttering  a 
Numbered,  Numbered,  Weighed,  and  Farted,  that  requires  no 
interpretation,  but  is  read  in  anxiety  by  the  people,  in  dismay 
and  terror  by  the  Prince.  And  he  humbles  himself  before 
Heaven  and  his  subjects  by  publishing  tl^ose  self-accusatory 
and  repentant  documents  which  Europeans  peruse  with 
surprise  and  ridicule,  but  which  are  wrung  from  his  pride 
by  his  fears,  and  are  earnest,  trembling  efforts  to  avert  the 
execution  of  Divine  j  ustice. 

I  distinctly  declare  to  my  readers  that  tbey  must  remain 
unable  to  form  a  correct  estimate — a  sound  estimate  for 
practical  political  purposes — of  Chinese  rebellions,  and  of  the 
present  rebellion  more  than  most  others,  until  they  have 
habituated  themselves  to  regard  the  above  principles,  not  as 
the  theorizing  of  a  few  ingenious  Chinese  of  modern  times, 
or  as  the  lore  of  historical  antiquaries,  but  as  ever-present, 
practically  operative,  ideas  in  the  minds  of  the  whole  people. 
Take  for  instance  the  last  enumerated,  and  most  foreign  to 
our  notions.  Dearth  excepted,  which  we  know  may  lead  to 
insurrections  of  starving  people,  the  disorders  and  convulsions 
of  nature  have  for  us  no  effect  on  political  affairs;  but 
in  China  earthquakes,  typhoons,  even  comets  and  meteoro- 
logical fires  are  real  precursors  and  hasteners  of  dynastic 
changes,  simply  because  the  nation,  from  the  prince  to  the 
beggar,  believe  them  to  announce  such  :  to  the  well  affected 
they  are  a  heavy  discouragement,  to  the  dissatisfied  and  the 
rebel  a  great  incitement  and  support. 

c2 


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20  THE  CHINESE   AND   THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

The  pure  theory  of  Buccession  is,  that  the  best  and  wisest 
man  in  the  Empire  should  be  nominated.  This  is  so  far 
modified  in  practice  that  the  Emperor  selects  his  ablest  son, 
priority  of  birth  serving  neither  as  qualification  nor  dis- 
qualification.* The  present  family  have  in  two  instances 
been  remarkably  successful,  both  as  to  the  mental  and  the 
physical  qualities  of  the  son  nominated.  The  second  Emperor 
of  their  line,  Kang  he,  not  only  reigned,  but  actually  ruled 
with  great  vigour  and  intelligence  for  sixty-one  years.  It  was 
he  who  fairly  established  the  power  of  his  house  on  a  firm 
basis.  The  fourth  Emperor,  Keen  lung,f  ruled  with  equal 
intelligence  and  great  vigour,  likewise  for  sixty-one  years ; 
when  he  resigned  for  the  very  Chinese  reason  that  he  wished 
to  avoid  surpassing  his  grandfather.  He  completed  and  pro- 
longed the  dominion  and  power  of  his  family ;  whose  decay 
may  be  said  to  have  commenced  under  his  successor. 

The  principle  that  good  government  consists  in  getting  the 
services,  as  officers,  of  "  been  nang,  the  worthy  and  talented," 
the  "  good  and  able,"  has  also  been  distinctly  taught,  and 
more  or  less  practically  enforced  from  the  earliest  periods  of 
Chinese  history.  It  was  impossible  to  ascertain  people's 
moral  qualities,  their  sense  of  justice,  their  devotion  or  their 
honesty  by  competitive  examinations.  There  could  be  no 
degrees  accorded — no  bachelorships,  no  doctorates — of  virtue. 
But  intellectual  qualities  could  be  classed  with  much  approxi- 
mative accuracy  by  means  of  competitive  examinations ;  and 
the  Chinese  had  at  a  very  early  period  of  their  existence 
recognised  the  psychological  fact,  the  law  of  human  nature, 

*  In  affairs  of  Buccession  to  landed  or  territorial  property  or  power  the 
superior  and  ezclnsire  rights  of  primogeniture  are  so  much  a  matter  of  course 
with  us  that  I  must  draw  the  attention  of  the  reader  to  the  fact  that,  this  idea 
being  unknown  to  the  Chinese,  the  eldest  son,  never  having  believed  himself 
to  have  any  right  of  preference,  submits  to  the'  selection  of  a  younger  son,  as 
younger  sons  submit  with  us.  Farther,  to  dispute  the  will  of  a  parent  is  with 
the  Chinese  a  great  crime. 

t  Kang  he  was  the  third  of  the  living  sons  of  his  father,  selected  in  prefer- 
ence to  his  two  seniors.  Keen  lung  was  the  eldest  living  son  of  his  father, 
preferred  before  two  juniors. 


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WORKING  OF  THE  NORMAL  AUTOCRACY.  21 

that  while  there  is  on  the  one  hand  an  intimate  connection 
between  '' ignorance  and  vice/'  so  on  the  other  hand  high 
intellectual^  faculties  are,  as  a  general  rule,  (which  the  ex- 
ceptions but  prove)  associated  with  moral  elevation.  Accord- 
ingly they  resolved  to  sift  out  the  high  intellectual  powers, 
as  well  for  their  own  value  as  because  they  furnish  the 
best  index  to  moral  superiority  at  the  command  of  human 
beings;  who  are  unable  to  ^' search  the  heart.''  Hence  the 
establishment  about  one  thousand  years  ago  of  a  system  of 
examinations,  which  has  been  receiving  extensions  and  im- 
provements in  its  organization  up  to  the  present  time.  I  have 
spoken  above,  page  10,  of  the  examinations  by  which  the 
first  or  lowest  degree  (sew  tsae),  which  we  may  call  that  of 
bachelor,  is  attained.  Every  three  years  the  bachelors  of 
each  province  are  examined,  in  the  provincial  capital,  by  two 
examiners  who  are  sent  from  Peking,  assisted  by  a  large  staff 
oflhe  o£Bcials  on  the  spot.  From  five  to  ten  thousand  bachelors 
attend  these  triennial  provincial  examinations,  though  only 
a  very  limited  number,  averaging  about  seventy  for  each 
province,  can  pass.  These  have  then  the  degree  of  Keu  jin, 
or  Licentiate.  The  licentiates  from  all  the  provinces  are  at 
liberty  to  attend  the  triennial  metropolitan  examinations  at 
Peking ;  where  some  two  or  three  hundred  of  them  attain  the 
d^rec  of  Tsin  sze,  or  doctor.  All  these  titles  may  be  shortly 
described  as  marking  degrees  of  extent  and  profundity  of 
knowledge  in  the  national  philosophy,  ethics,*  principles  of 
government,  history,  and  statute  laws,  as  well  as  of  powers  of 
composition.  Bachelors  have  no  right  to  expect  office,  their 
degree  merely  marking  those  who  have  stood  the  sifting 
process  of  the   primary  district,  and   departmental   exami- 

*  The  ezamination  in  knowledge  of  ethics  or  the  principles  of  morality  is 
one  of  the  nearest  approaches*  that  can  he  made  to  direct  examination  of  the 
moral  qualities.  A  man  low  hy  nature  and  a  scoundrel  in  practice  may  he 
ahle  to  hand  in  very  good  solutions  of  purely  intellectual,  say  mathematical , 
problems ;  hut  he  will  hardly,  if  shut  up  without  books,  ho  able  to  prepare 
dear  and  still  less  original  essays  on  moral  questions.  He  then  travels  blindly 
in  a  foreign  land. 


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22  THE  CHINESE   AND  THEIR   REBELLIONS. 

nations/  But  the  degree  of  licentiate^  when  China  is  socially 
and  politically  in  a  normal  state^  entitles  the  possessors  to 
expect  a  post,  after  some  years  waiting ;  while  that  of  doctor 
ensures  him  without  delay  a  district  magistracy  at  the 
least. 

From  all  this  my  readers  will  see  that  there  exists  an 
enormous  diflPerence  between  the  administrative  system  of  the 
Chinese  and  those  of  certain  other  oriential  nations,  Persia  and 
Turkey  for  instance.  Eastern  Asia  differs  as  widely  from 
Western  Asia,  as  does  this  latter  from  Western  Europe. 
Such  a  thing  is  unknown  in  China  as  the  sudden  elevation 
by  the  Emperor  of  grooms  or  barbers  to  the  high  official 
posts.  Hard  and  successful  study  only,  enables  a  Chinese  to 
set  foot  on  the  lowest  step  of  the  official  ladder,  and  a  long 
and  unusually  successful  career  is  necessary  to  enable  him  to 
reach  the  higher  rounds.  The  Chinese  executive  system  is 
at  once  the  most  gigantic,  and  most  minutely  organized  that 
the  World  has  ever  seen.  It  and  its  modes  of  action  are 
carefully  defined  by  regulations  emanating  from  the  Emperor, 
and  having,  therefore,  the  same  force  that  any  other  branch 
of  the  law  has.  All  Chinese  law  is  carefully  codified  and 
divided  into  chapters,  sections  and  subsections.  Some  parts 
of  this  law  are  as  old  as  the  Chinese  administrative  system. 
One  of  the  oldest,  and  by  the  people  most  venerated,  of  the 
codes  is  that  which  most  nearly  concerns  themselves;  the 
penal.  This,  commenced  two  thousand  years  ago,  has  grown 
with  the  nation.  Kecent  reigning  families  have  more  or  less 
modified  it;  but  in  substance  it  is  national  not  dynastic ;  and, 
though  some  of  its  enactments  viewed  from  the  stand  point 
of  our  Christian  civilization  are  harsh  or  cruel,  it  has  been 
said  with  perfect  truth,  that  the  Chinese  desire  only  its 
enforcement  with  strict  purity  and  impartiality.*  Complete 
copies  are  sold  so  cheaply  as  to  be  within  easy  reach  of  the 
humbler  tradesmen.   This,  and  all  other  codes  f  are  frequently 

•  See  Introduction  to  Staunton's  Translation  of  the  Penal  Code. 

t  The  only  others  which  directly  affect  a  largo  portion  of  the  people  are 


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WOBKING  OP  THE  NORMAL  AUTOCBACT.  23 

being  added  to  or  modified  in  details  by  Imperial  Edicts  of 
a  general  legiHlative   character.*^     Bat   in  legislating  the 
emperor  cannot  follow  the  dictates  of  his  own  arbitrary  will ; 
he  cannot  even  follow  the  dictates  of  temporary  expediency — 
without  palpably  weakening  his  power  in  consequence  of 
the  universal  contempt  with  which  he  and  his  proceedings 
would  be  regarded.     His  statute  legislation  must  be  faith- 
fully deduced  from  general  principles  well  known  to  the 
country;  and  he  and  his  ministers  must^  moreover,  watch 
constantly  that  the  existing  law  is  administered  with  justice  and 
impartiality.     These  have  always  been  imperative  conditions 
J  of  the  stability  and  prolonged  duration  of  dynasties  in  China. 
^    Failure,  whether  wilful  or  the  consequence  of  a  pressure  of 
^   unavoidable  circumstances,'  entails  inevitably,  first  contempt 
and  apathy,  then  positive  disaffection,  then  disorders,  riots, 
'^.  I     g^^S  robberies,  insurrections  against  local  authorities,  and 
{       ultimately  avowed  rebellion  aiming  at  a  change  of  dynasty. 
^  If  this  is  successful,  then  that  fact  is  a  palpable,  and  in  China 
^   unquestioned,  proof  that  the  Divine  Commission  had  been 
withdrawn  from  the  old  family;  and  that  the  rebellion  was  not 
aimply  excusable,  nor  laudable  only,  but,  as  an  execution  of 
the  will  of  Heaven^  inevitable.    The  normal  Chinese  govern- 

thoae  of  a  fiacal  natare,  rcgalating  the  amount  and  the  mode  of  levying  the 
FeTenne.  Those  regulating  the  public  examinations  affect  students  and  gra- 
duates. Those  which  regulate  the  appointment  and  promotion  of  mandarins 
affect  candidates  for  office  and  officials. 

*  Such  edicta  afe  collected  and  published  quarterly  in  every  proyincial 
e^^ital ;  and  at  the  end  of  the  year  the  four  quarterly  numbers  are  bound  toge- 
ther and  sold  as  one  volume.  I  have  now  before  me  twenty  such  volumes, 
being  those  for  ISsf  to  1850  inclusive.  That  for  1842  wJben  the  English  war 
pregged  moat  heavily  on  tfie  oounirjf  is  by  far  the  thinnesL  I  may  add  here 
that  there  are  published  with  the  sanction  of  the  Criminal  Board,  voluminous 
collections  of  precedents  (cases  selected  as  elucidative  of  the  precise  application 
of  particular  clauses  of  the  Code) ; — and  that  there  exists  a  well  paid  and  much 
xeapected  class  of  men,  called  sze  yay,  who  devote  their  lives  to  forensic  studies, 
and  of  whom  two  or  three  are  in  the  private  employ  of  every  mandarin,  as  his 
Uffol  advisers.  One  of  the  most  comprehensive  miiwtatements  in  M.  Hue's  book 
is  that  where  he  asserts  that  the  Chinese  have  no  "science  du  droit"  "juris- 
pnidence*  "jurificonaultes"  or  ''minist^re  des  avocata."    (Yol.  2.  page  802.) 


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24  THE  CHINESE   AND   THEIE   REBELLIONS. 

ment  is  essentially  based  on  moral  force:  it  is  not  a  des- 
potism. A  military  and  police  is  maintained  sufficient  to 
crush  merely  factious  risings,  but  totally  inadequate,  both  in 
numbers  and  in  nature,  to  put  down  a  disgusted  and  indig- 
nant people.  But  though  no  despotism,  this  same  govern- 
ment is  in  form  and  machinery  a  pure  autocracy.  In  his 
district  the  magistrate  is  absolute;  in  his  province,  the 
governor;  in  the  empire,  the  Emperor.  The  Chinese  people 
have  no  right  of  legislation,  they  have  no  right  of  self- 
taxation,  they  have  not  the  power  of  voting  out  their  rulers  or 
of  limiting  or  stopping  supplies.  They  have  therefore  the  right 
of  rebellion.  Rebellion  is  in  China  the  old,  often  exercised, 
legitimate,  and  constitutional  means  of  stopping  arbitrary 
and  vicious  legislation  and  administration.  To  say  that  an 
industrious  and  cultivated  people  should  have  no  right  what- 
ever, in  any  way,  of  checking  misgovernment  and  tyranny 
which  must  destroy  its  cultivation  and  its  industry,  and  ulti- 
mately its  very  existence  as  a  people,  is  to  maintain  a  pro- 
position so  monstrous  that  I  merely  state  it.  Even  where, 
as  in  England,  there  exist  the  formal  means  of  machinery 
for  constraint  of  a  peaceful  as  well  as  constitutional  cha- 
racter, the  people  has  in  extreme  cases  a  right  to  appeal  to 
force. 

I  may  here  notice  certain  conflicting  views  given  of  China 
and  its  history  by  different  writers,  and  sometimes  by  one 
and  the  same  writer.  By  some  we  have  enforced  on  our 
attention  the  fondness  of  the  Chinese  for  the  Old,  and  the 
unchangeableness  of  their  institutions.  Others  dilate  on  the 
contrary  on  the  constant  rise  and  fall  of  dynasties,  and  on 
the  internal  conflicts  which  accompany  them,  till  we  are 
tempted  to  think  the  Chinese  the  most  unstable  and  revolu- 
tionary people  in  the  world.  As  frequently  happens  in  such 
cases  of  prolonged  and  apparently  interminable  assertion  of 
opposing  views,  the  cause  of  the  variance  rests  in  the  confusion 
produced  by  an  undistinguishing  use  of  words.  The  words 
are  in  this  case  revolution  and  rebellion^  with  their  respective 


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WORKING  OF  THE  NORMAL  AUTOCRACY.  25 

paronyms.  These  two  classes  of  words  have^  in  writings  on 
China  been  constantly  interchanged  as  synonymous,  yet 
they  refer  to  two  essentially  different  kinds  of  acts.  Revolu- 
tion is  a  change  of  the  form  of  government  and  of  the  prin- 
ciples on  which  it  rests:  it  does  not  necessarily  imply  a 
change  of  rulers.  Kebellion  is  a  rising  against  the  rulers 
which,  far  from  necessarily  aiming  at  a  change  of  govern- 
mental principles  and  forms,  often  originates  in  a  desire 
of  preserving  them  intact.  Revolutionary  movements  are 
against  principles;  rebellions  against  men.  The  revolu- 
tionary tendencies  of  Charles  the  First  made  his  subjects 
rebels;  and  it  was  only  his  obstinate  and  infatuated  per- 
sistance  in  attempts  to  change  a  (then  already)  limited 
monarchy  into  a  despotism  that  forced  loyal  subjects  and 
true  patriots  into  downright  revolution,  as  well  as  rebellion. 
Bearing  the  above  distinction  clearly  in  mind^  great  light 
may  be  thrown  by  one  sentence  over  the  4,000  ^^^e^rs  of 
Chinese  history :  Of  all  nations  that  have  attaineAs(^  c^ain 
degree  of  civilization^  the  Chinese  are  the  least  revolpiHpni^  and 
the  most  rebellious.  Speaking  generally,  there  ^"^^b^en  but 
one  great  political  revolution  in  China,  when  1^^  ji^ralized 
form  of  government  was  substituted  for  tKi^feJidal,  about 
2,000  years  ago.*  ^/^     .^ 

•  To  goard  against  misapprehenBion  here  I  most  explain  that  the  theory 
with  reference  to  (he  Sovereign  has  from  the  ptsi  beeii  the  same.  As  the 
"  divinely  appointed,"  'Hhe  son  of  heaven/'  he  has  always  had  the  right  (if  not 
the  yirtoal  power)  to  exercise  antocratic  authority ;  and  the  question  of  feu- 
dalism or  centralization  was  strictly  speaking  a  question  of  administration 
under  him.  It  was  a  question  long  debated;  and  even  now  advocates  of 
feudalism  may  be  found  among  Chinese  well  acquainted  with  the  national 
history.  But  a  very  great  authority  in  China,  the  statesman  and  ethicist, 
Choo  he,  who  was  bom  a.d.  1130,  summed  up  in  favour  of  centralization; 
which  has  been  practised  without  interruption  during  the  700  years  that 
have  since  elapsed.  By  the  feudal  form  of  government  is  here  meant  sub- 
division of  the  empire  into  states,  under  rulers  who  received  investiture  from 
the  emperor  as  a  matter  of  course  in  consequence  of  their  birth,  and  who 
GODcentiated  in  themselves  the  unchecked  management  of  militaiy,  fiscal  and 
judicial  affidrs  in  their  respective  territories.  By  the  cenbrcdized  form  is  meant 
the  subdiviflion  of  aU  administrators  under  the  emperor,  to  a  certain  extent, 


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26  THE   CHINESE  AND  THEIB  REBELLIONS. 

Where  I  have  stated  above  that  successful  risings  of  the 
Chinese  against  their  rulers  were  justifiable,  I  might  perhaps 
with  greater  propriety  have  used  the  word  insurrection,  in- 
stead of,  rebellion ;  to  which  an  offensive  sense  is  attached  by 
the  usage  of  our  language.  To  say  the  Chinese  had  **  the 
right  to  rebel,"  was  almost  a  contradiction  in  terms.  But 
the  words  "  rebels,"  "  rebellious  "  and  "  rebellion  "  have 
been  so  freely  applied  to  the  present  insurgents  and  their 
insurrectionary  acts,  that  I  could  only  hope  to  overthrow  the 
misconception  that  application  causes  by  a  face  to  face  grapple 
with  it.  Hence  to  "rebel"  1  opposed  "right."  But  in 
truth  the  word  rebel  and  its  paronyms  cannot  when  used 
of  Chinese  affairs  be  taken  in  their  old  or  strictly  English 
meaning,  and  the  reader,  who  does  not  prefer  untruth  to 
truth,  must  carefully  abstain  from  interpreting  these  terms^ 
so  used,  in  a  necessarily  offensive  sense.  In  England,  in  our 
limited  monarchy,  in  our  on  the  whole  admirably  balanced 
constitution  (which  secures  the  people  a  larger  amount  of 
virtual  self-government,  and  in  individuals  a  greater  portion 
of  true  freedom  than  any  that  the  world  has  ever  yet  seen) 
the  principle  that  the  sovereign  can  do  no  wrong,  combined 

into  militaTy,  fiscal  and  judicial  services,  and  in  every  case  their  tenure  of 
power  during  his  pleasure  only,  together  with  constant  accountability  to  him 
as  to  its  exercise.  This  latter  form,  it  is  evident,  admits  more  completely  of 
the  carrying  out  of  the  principle  of  governing  by  the  most  able  and  talented ; 
and  hence  it  is  that  it  and  the  public  service  examination  system  have 
acquired  strength  and  development  together.  The  reader  will  observe  that 
centralization  as  here  defined  is  not  opposed  to  local  self  jarovemment.  Our 
military,  fiscal,  and  even  our  judicial  officers  (if  convicted  of  ill  conduct)  are 
removable  by  the  Sovereign,  yet  we  exercise  much  local  self  government;  and 
there  is  no  small  amount  of  this  latter  in  China.  The  two  things  are  perfectly 
compatible,  and  both  are  indispensable  to  a  people  that  wishes  to  be  at  once 
united  and  free,  powerful  against  foreign  foes  and  untyrannized  over  by 
internal  rulers.  Centralization  is  ii^jurious  when  it  interferes  with  local  affairs 
which  the  central  authorities  can  neither  be  well  acquainted  with,  nor  be  much 
interested  in  the  right  conduct  of.  Self  government  is  injurious  when  it 
trenches  on  imperial  matters  so  far  as  to  produce  diversities  in  the  empire  not 
required  by  any  peculiarity  in  local  circumstances.  The  true  problem  is  to 
define  the  limits  of  both,  and  then  increase  tiie  efficiency  qf  each  to  the  very 
utmost  within  its  own  limits. 


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WORKING  OP   THE  NOBMAL   AUTOCRACY.  27 

with  the  right  of  primogenitiire  is  the  very  element  of 
stability ;  an  element  which  thoughtful  patriotic  Englishmen 
have  always  been  slow  indeed  to  touch  or  tamper  with.*  In 
China  with  its  autocratically  ruling  sovereign  and  cen- 
tralized administration  (under  which  the  nation  has  flourished 
and  increased  for  thousands  of  years  until  it  has  grown  to  a 
homogeneous  people  of  360  industrious  and  satisfied  millions) 
it  is  precisely  the  right  to  rebel  that  has  been  a  chief  element 
of  a  national  stability^  unparalleled  in  the  world's  history. 
Rebellion  is  there  but  the  storm  that  clears  and  invigorates  a 
political  atmosphere  which  has  become  sultry  and  unwhole- 
some. We  are  so  accustomed  to  associate  self  government  with 
freedom  as  almost  to  consider  them  interchangeable  terms, 
and  to  regard  autocracy  and  despotism  as  equally  synonymous. 
Lict  the  reader  note  the  difference.  The  Russian  autocracy 
is  a  despotism,  not  only  because  supported  by  a  great  physical 
force,  but  what  is  still  more  terrible,  because  the  whole 
intellectual  power  is  possessed  by  the  rulers.  The  Chinese 
Government  is  not  a  despotism  maintained  by  a  physical 
force,  but  an  autocracy  existing  in  virtue  of  the  cheerful 
acquiescence  of  the  people.  The  latter  actually  do  share 
largely  in  a  kind  of  self  government,  in  consequence  of  the 
mandarins  being  taken  impartially  from  all  classes.  Further, 
at  the  triennial  examinations  in  each  province  only  about 
TO  of  the  competing  bachelors  out  of  some  six  or  eight 
thousand  can  become  licentiates  and  mandarins.  But  among 
the  rejected  of  these  eight  thousand,  there  are  probably 
700  as  able  as  the  selected  70 ;  between  whom  and  the 
latter  it  was  a  mere  *^  toss  up  ^\  with  the  examiners.  All 
these  rejected  remain  members  of  the  non-official  com- 
monality and  possess,  with  hundreds  of  thousands  of  can- 

*  So  weU  hare  the  EDglish  understood  this  that  they  hare  only  once,  in  the 
conne  of  800  years,  submitted  for  a  time  to  a  serious  attempt  to  oust  the 
family.  The  Chinaman  'when  told  of  the  long  duration  of  our  dynasty  and  at 
the  same  time  of  our  freedom  from  tyranny  is  as  much  puzzled  as  many 
English  may  be  about  the  "  right  to  rebel"  which  I  here  insist  on  for  China. 


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28  THE   CHINESE  AND   THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

didates  who  never  even  attain  bachelorships^  as  much  intel- 
lectual power  for  practical  purposes  as  the  bulk  of  the 
administrators.  Many  of  the  more  reckless  and  daring,  I  may 
add,  perform  the  functions  of  prof essional  demagogic  agitators 
with  us :  theji  for  selfish  purposes,  bully  and  check  the  local 
authorities.  So  much  as  to  self  government  and  a  check 
on  the  governors.  As  to  practical  freedom,  mark  the  fol- 
lowing. The  Chinaman  can  sell  and  hold  landed  property 
with  a  facility,  certainty  and  security  which  is  absolute  per- 
fection compared  with  the  nature  of  English  dealings  of  the 
same  kind.  He  can  traverse  his  country  throughout  its 
2,000  miles  of  length  unquestioned  by  any  official,  and  in 
doing  so  can  follow  whatever  occupation  he  pleases.  In 
open  defiance  of  an  obsolete  law,  he  can  quit  his  country 
and  re-enter  it  without  passport  or  other  hindrance.  Lastly, 
from  the  paucity  of  the  military  and  police  establishments 
numbers  of  large  villages  (towns  we  may  call  some)  exist  in 
every  district,  the  inhabitants  of  which  scarcely  ever  see  an 
official  agent  except  when  the  tax  gatherers  apply  for  the 
annual  land  tax.^ 

In  some  provinces  the  people  are  more  prompt  than  in  others 
to  resist  every  kind  of  practical  tyranny.  In  all.  Chinamen 
enjoy  an  amount  of  freedom  in  the  disposal  of  their  per- 
sons and  property,  which  other  European  nations  than  the 
Russians  may  well  envy  them.  I  may  now  quote  a  passage 
from  Mill's  Political  Economy,  having  reference  there  to 
the  prosperity  of  the  small  free  states  and  cities  of  Europe  in 
the  Middle  Ages  in  spite  of  their  frequent  intestine  struggles, 
but  which  is  equally  applicable  to  the  flourishing  state  of 
China  and  its  steady  progress,  in  spite  of  its  devastating, 
dynastic,  civil  wars : — "  Insecurity  paralyzes  only  when  it  is 

*  In  certain  parts  of  China  these  personages  are  so  far  from  attempting  to 
levy  this  tax  by  force  that  they  often  get  the  magistrate  to  give  them  a  bom- 
booing  and  then  repair  to  the  villages  with  a  self  imposed  cangue  round  their 
necks,  point  to  these  penal  instruments  and  to  their  blue  marked  persons,  and 
appeal  to  the  good  feeling  of  the  rustics,  crying ;  '*  See  what  we  have  to  suffer 
because  you  delay  paying  us  what  we  are  bound  to  hand  in/' 


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WOJRKING   OP   THE  NORMAL  AUTOCRACY.  29 

such  in  nature  and  in  degree,  that  no  energy,  of  which 
mankind  in  general  are  capable,  affords  any  tolerable  means 
of  self-protection.  And  this  is  a  main  reason  why  oppres- 
sion by  the  government,  whose  power  is  generally  irre- 
sistible by  any  efforts  that  can  be  made  by  individuals, 
has  so  much  more  baneful  an  effect  on  the  springs  of 
national  prosperity,  than  almost  any  degree  of  lawlessness 
and  turbulence  under  free  institutions.  Nations  have  ac- 
quired some  wealth,  and  made  some  progress  in  improve- 
ment, in  states  of  social  union  so  imperfect  as  to  border  on 
anarchy ;  but  no  countries  in  which  the  people  were  exposed 
without  limit  to  arbitrary  exactions  from  the  officers  of 
government,  ever  yet  continued  to  have  industry  or  wealth. 
A  few  generations  of  such  a  government  never  fail  to  extin- 
guish both.  Some  of  the  fairest,  and  once  the  most  prospe- 
rous, regions  of  the  earth,  have,  under  the  Roman  and  after- 
wards under  the  Turkish  dominion,  been  reduced  to  a  desert, 
solely  by  that  cause.  I  say  solely,  because  they  would  have 
recovered  with  the  utmost  rapidity,  as  countries  always  do 
from  the  devastations  of  war,  or  any  other  temporary 
calamities.''^ 


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30  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR   BEBELLIONS. 


CHAPTER  III. 


ACCESSION,  ABNORMAL  POLICY,  AND  WEAKNESS   OP  THE 
PRESENT   MANCHOO  DYNASTY. 


All  that  I  have  said  above  refers  to  Chinese  institutions 
in  their  normal  national  state,  such  as  thej,  for  instance, 
substantially  were  (with  a  little  difference  in  names  rather 
than  in  things)  daring  a  large  portion  of  the  dynastic  period 
of  the  Chinese  family  which  was  superseded  by  the  present 
Manchoo  house.  This  latter,  first  merely  at  the  head  of  an 
obscure  Tartar  clan,  then  over  a  Manchoo  Tartar  monarchy, 
though  it  adapted  itself  in  the  main  to  the  institutions  it 
found  in  China,  and  was  naturally  itself  conquered  by  the 
Confucian  civilization,  the  only  one  it  had.  any  opportunity 
of  knowing,  did  nevertheless  introduce  some  essential  modi- 
fications, which  it  is  the  more  necessary  to  notice  as  they 
were  the  incipient  causes  of  the  trying  struggle  for  existence 
in  which  the  dynasty  is  now  engaged. 

Going  back  a  little,  we  find  that  the  Mongols,  under  the 
immediate  descendants  of  Genghis  Khan,  conquered  China 
in  1271  and  ruled  over  it  till  1368,  when  after  a  prolonged 
struggle  between  them  and  Chinese  rebels,  the  latter  suc- 
ceeded in  establishing  a  native  dynasty,  that  of  the  Mings ; 
which  ruled  for  276  years.  During  the  last  quarter  century 
of  that  period  its  misgovemment  had  so  alienated  the  affec- 
tions of  the  people  that  it  was  constantly  engaged  with 
insurgents  and  rebels  in  the  interior ;  in  addition  to  its  fights 
with  the  barbarous  tribes  in  the  west  and  north  (Manchoos) 
which  the  internal  weakness  rendered  it  unable  to  meet 


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ACCESSION  OP  THE  MANCHOO  DYNASTY.  31 

^  cfiectuallj.     At  length,  a  native  rebel,  Le  tsze  ching,  who 

had,  after  eight  years'  fighting,  established  his  power 
over  one  third  of  the  country,  entered  Peking  in  1644; 
when  the  last  Ming  Emperor,  deserted  and  unsupported, 
committed  suicide.  One  of  his  generals.  Woo  san  kwei, 
then  on  the  borders  keeping  off  the  Manchoos,  immediately 
made  peace  with  the  latter  and  begged  their  assistance 
against  "the  usurper."  They  readily  gave  it,  were  suc- 
cessful, and  then  availed  themselves  of  the  opening,  thus 
afibrded  by  a  Chinese,  and  the  aid  of  his  army,  to  establish 
themselves  in  Peking,  and  gradually  in  the  sovereignty  of  the 
Empire.  This  result  was  not  attained,  however,  until  after 
a  seven  years'  bloody  struggle,  to  which  another  struggle  of 
like  duration,  the  Prussian  seven  years'  war,  was  but  a  trifle; 
and  the  result  would  not  have  been  attained  at  all  but  for 
the  disunion  among  the  Chinese  together  with  the  great 
degree  in  which  the  Manchoo  monarchs  adopted,  and  the 
vigour  with  which  they  enforced,  the  normal  Chinese  prin- 
ciples and  practice  of  government*  Still  the  Manchoos  felt 
that  their  military  power  was  the  original  cause  of  their 
advent  to  dominion;  and  hence  they  naturally  endeavoured 
to  maintain  it  intact.  Besides  a  very  large  Tartar  garrison, 
now  about  150,000.  strong,  at  Peking,  they  established 
smaller  garrisons  in  nine  of  the  provincial  capitals  and  ten 
other  important  points  in  the  provinces.  These,  nineteen 
in  all,  are  on  the  average,  as  enumerated  in  the  Imperial 
books,  each  about  three  thousand  strong ;  but  as  they  always 
had  with  them  their  wives  and  families — are  in  fact  military 
colonies — the  natural  increase  of  their  numbers  in  the  course 
of  several  generations  has  been  such,  that  they  are  now 
supposed  to  average  about  seven  to  eight  thousand  able-bodied 
men.  The  mere  sight  of  these  garrisons  has  been  a  constant 
reminder  to  the  Chinese  of  their  being  under  the  dominion 
of  an  alien,  barbarian  race ;  and  as  the  latter  have  always 
borne  themselves  with  much  of  the  insolence  of  conquerors, 
their  acts  have  been  a.  constant  excitement  to  disaffection. 


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32  THE  CHINESE   AND   THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

These  garrisons  form  one  deviation  from  the  fundamental 
principles  of  Chinese  government,  as  a  partial  attempt  to 
substitute  a  physically  supported  despotism  for  a  morally 
supported  autocracy. 

From  the  first  the  Manchoo  family  associated  a  number  of 
its  compatriots  with,  or  substituted  them  for,  the  Chinese 
officials,  in  all  the  higher  government  posts,  whether  in  the 
central  or  the  provincial  administrations.  With  the  increase 
of  the  race  in  numbers,  the  necessity  of  "  providing  for  "  its 
members  has  been  a  steadily  increasing  cause  for  the  extension 
of  this  association  and  substitution.  This  forms  another  breach 
of  the  Chinese  principles  of  government.  These  require  that 
the  nation  should  be  governed  by  the  most  worthy  and  able. 
But  the  Manchoo  officials  owe  their  positions  to  birth.  They 
are  in  point  of  moral  qualities  certainly  not  superior,  and  in 
intellectual  acquirements  markedly  inferior  to  their  Chinese 
colleagues  and  subordinates ;  while  their  first  appointment, 
and  subsequent  more  rapid  promotion,  constantly  excludes 
and  disappoints  a  number  of  Chinese  of  ability  and  of  honour* 
able  ambitions.  These  flagrant  breaches  of  fundamental  prin- 
ciples well-known  to  the  Chinese  people  induced  and  justified 
general  laxity.  Hence  the  spread  of  corruption,  which,  com- 
bined with  the  inefficiency  of  so  large  a  proportion  of  the 
officials  in  the  higher  and  middle  ranks,  brought  on  financial 
difficulties.  Inability  to  meet  these  latter  in  any  other  way,  led 
to  another  species  of  breach  of  principle.  Government  posts 
were  sold;  and  to  incompetent  Manchoos  were  added  incom- 
petent Chinese,  whose  constant  and  chief  aim  was  to  extort 
from  the  people  the  money  they  had  spent  in  purchasing  the 
power  to  do  so.  Hence  spread  of  tyranny,  which  led  at 
length  to  risings,  which  again  had  to  be  extinguished  by  an 
expenditure,  that  an  increasing  amount  of  inefficiency  and 
corruption  in  the  administration  made  ever  greater  and 
greater.  Such  was  the  downward  course  which  continued 
to  become  more  and  more  apparent  during  the  reigns  of 
Kea  king  and  his  son  Taou  kwang,  up  to  the  English  war. 


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WEAKNESS  OP  THE  MANCHOO  DYNASTY.        33 

This .  latter  inflicted  a  dreadAil  blow  on  the  Manclioos ;  for 
their'  two  provincial  garrisons  of  Cha  poo  and  Chin  keang 
were  defeated  and  almost  destroyed^  with  an  ease  that  shook 
their  own  confidence  in  the  prowess  and  destiny  of  their 
race^  and  completely  dispelled  its  prestige  of  military  power 
in  the  eyes  of  the  subject  Chinese.  And  then  the  great 
costs  of  the  struggle^  of  which  the  twenty-seven  millions  of 
dollars  pud  to  the  British  at  its  close  was  but  a  small 
moiety,  plunged  the  government  into  irremediable  financial 
difficulties.  The  sale  of  government  posts  was  carried  on 
more  extensively,  and  corruption,  tyranny,  disafiection, 
robbery,  piracy,  local  insurrectionary  risings,  misgovemment 
in  short,  and  no-government  prevailed  more  than  ever  up  to 
1850,  when  the  "  Kwangse  rebellion  "  broke  out. 


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34  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIE  REBELLIONS. 


CHAPTER  IV- 

RISE  AND  PROGRESS  OF  THE  CHINESE  PEOPLE,  CAUSES  OP 
ITS  UNITY  AND  GENERAL  HOMOGENEITY,  AND  OP  CERTAIN 
PECULIARITIES  IN  THE  SOUTH-EASTERN  CHINESE. 

In  order  to  understand  aright  the  circumstances  under  which 
the  politico-religious  rebellion  has  come  into  existence  and 
the  people  who  originated  it,  we  must  devote  a  little  time 
to  a  cursory  view  of  the  rise  and  progress  of  the  Chinese 
nation  as  a  whole  ;  and  then  note  some  diiFerences  that,  in 
the  midst  of  the  general  and  wonderM  homogeneity,  do 
nevertheless  distinguish  the  South-Eastem  Chinese  from  the 
rest  of  the  nation. 

The  original  seat  of  the  Chinese  people  was  the  northern 
portion  of  Chih  le,  the  province  in  which  the  present  capital 
Peking  happens  to  be  situated. 

How  the  first  Chinese,  the  founders  of  the  nation,  came  to 
be  in  that  locality,  is  one  of  those  questions  connected  with 
the  origin  and  spread  of  the  human  race  generally  which  can 
only  receive  a  conjectural  solution.  All  we  do  or  can  know 
positively  is  that  the  first  portion  of  authentic  Chinese 
history  tells  us  that  the  Emperor  Yaou,  who  reigned  4,200 
years  ago,  had  his  capital  at  the  now  district  city  of  Tsin 
chow,  situated  about  100  miles  only  to  the  south  of  the  present 
capital  Peking.  From  this  most  ancient  location  the  people 
sspread  gradually  westward  and  southward,  thus  steadily  in- 
crfeaaing  its  territory.  The  usual  course  of  the  process  was, 
first  colonization  of  the  newer  regions,  and  displacement  from 
them  of  whatever  aboriginal  inhabitants  were  found ;   and 


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BISE  AND  PROGRESS  OF  THE  CHINESE  PEOPLE.  35 

afterwards  political  incorporation  with  the  older  territory. 
At  times  howeyer  the  process  was  reversed,  and  military 
conquest  of  the  aboriginals  preceded  their  displacement  by  an 
mdnstrial  occupation  of  their  lands.  Lastly  I  have  to  draw 
special  attention  to  one  other  mode  in  which  the  Chinese 
have  effected  territorial  extension,  a  mode  which  exemplifies 
in  a  striking  manner  the  peculiarity,  and  the  innate  strength  of 
Chinese  civilization.  The  whole  nation  with  its  country,  has 
been  conquered  by  some  adjacent  barbarous  people ;  has  then, 
under  cover  of  the  political  union  thus  effected,  penetrated 
into,  and  partially  colonized  the  original  country  of  its  con- 
querors ;  and  ultimately  has  freed  itself  by  force,  and  taken 
political  possession  of  its  new  colonies  after  having  previously 
effected  a  mental  subjugation  of  its  conquerors  by  dint  of 
superior  civilization.  Something  of  tiiis  kind  happened  with 
the  Khitan  Tartars  who  had  possession  of  the  north  of  China 
Proper,  after  that  with  the  Mongols  who  had  the  whole 
country,  and  it  is  well  known  to  be  the  process  in  operation 
for  the  200  years  last  past  under  the  present  rulers,  Manchoos, 
whom  the  Chinese  colonists  are  partially  superseding  in  their 
own  old  country,  Manchooria. 

I  have  already  noticed  the  distinction  between  China  Proper 
and  the  Chinese  Empire.  Let  the  reader  note  now  that  the 
territorial  distinction  marked  by  these  terms  has  existed  in 
fact  irom  the  earliest  periods  of  Chinese  history.  China  proper 
means  at  all  periods  that  portion  of  the  east  of  the  Asiatic  con- 
tinent which  has  been  possessed  and  permanently  occupied  by 
the  Chinese  peopk.  The  Chinese  Empu-e  means  at  all  periods 
besides  China  Proper,  those  large  portions  of  the  whole  Asiatic 
continent  occupied  by  Tartar-Nomads,  or  other  non-Chinese 
peoples,  but  which  have  from  time  to  time  been  under  the  sway 
of  the  Emperor  of  China,  and  more  or  less  directiy  ruled  by 
Chinese  officers  and  armies.  China  Proper  has  at  all  periods 
been  characterized  by  Chinese  civilization ;  that  is  to  say  its 
population  generally  besides  being  physically  of  the  same  race, 
has  always  been  governed  in  its  domestic,  its  social,  and  (with 

d2 


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36  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS, 

the  exception  of  some  very  short  periods)  its  political,  life  by 
the  principles  and  rules  laid  down  in  the  Chinese  old  Sacred 
Books.  The  non-Chinese  peoples  of  the  Chinese  Empire  have, 
on  the  other  hand,  at  all  periods  either  been  destitute  of  any- 
thing that  could  be  called  civilization,  or  have  been  slightly 
tinged  with  Chinese  civilization,  or  have  been  marked  by 
some  different  civilization ;  as  for  instance,  at  present,  the  in- 
habitants of  Turkestan  by  a  Mahommedan  civilization,  the 
inhabitants  of  Tibet  by  one  strictly  Budhistic. 

The  Chinese  Empire  as  thus  defined  has  in  the  course  of 
ages  varied  greatly  in  extent.  It  has  been  more  than  once 
larger  than  it  is  even  now.  It  was  so,  for  example,  about 
2,000  years  ago,  under  the  fifth  Emperor  of  the  Han  dynasty ; 
when  it  embraced  the  greater  portion  of  inhabited  Asia  west 
of  the  Caspian  sea,  and  inclusive  of  Siam,  Pegu,  Camboya 
and  Bengal.  In  the  intervals  between  these  great  extensions 
it  has  shrimk  up  to  the  size  of  China  Proper,  and  even  this 
latter  has  been  occasionally  subdivided  for  considerable  pe- 
riods under  two  or  more  ruling  families  or  dynasties,  each 
acknowledging  no  superior.  But  the  Chinese  people  has 
continued  the  same,  even  when  under  several  rulers,  and  has 
been  steadily  increasing  its  territorial  possessions  by  the 
processes  above  described. 

Starting,  as  said,  4,200  years  ago  from  the  country  north 
of  the  Yellow  river  we  find  it  spreading  to,  and  establishing 
itself  in  the  country  north  of  the  Yang  tsze  about  1,500  years 
later,  or  b.c.  800.  In  the  centuries  immediately  succeeding 
this  latter  period,  it  appears*  to  have  acquired  permanent 
possession  of  the  whole  of  the  great  Yang  tsze  basin.  So  far 
its  progress  had  been  comparatively  speaking  unimpeded  by 
serious  geographical  obstructions.  But  the  watershed  along 
the  southern  edge  of  this  Yang  tsze  basin  is  a  high  and  rugged 
mountain  chain  that  long  checked  its  advance.  The  Chinese 
Emperor  who  established  himself  on  the  throne,  b.c.  221, 

*  The  accounts  of  that  early  period  of  its  histoiy  are  meagre  and  somewhat 
conflicting. 


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RISE  AND  PROGRESS  OF  THE   CHINESE  PEOPLE.  37 

conquered  the  country  to  the  south  and  thereby  made  it  a 
portion  of  the  Chinese  Empire.  After  a  temporary  inde- 
pendence it  voluntarily  subjected  itself  to  the  Emperor  who 
b^an  to  reign  B.C.  179;  but  even  then  the  bulk  of  the 
population  was  foreign  or  non-Chinese.  It  would  be  diflScult 
to  say  exactly  when  it  became  a  portion  of  China  proper, 
the  more  so  as  even  now  the  aboriginal  population  has  not 
been  displaced  from  certain  portions  of  Kwang  se.*  We  may 
however  regard  it  as  substantially  colonized  and  possessed 
by  the  Chinese  people  under  the  powerful  dynasty  of  Tang, 
which  began  a.d.  618  and  ruled  for  300  years.t  The 
people  in  this  very  portion  of  China  habitually  call  them- 
selves Tang  jin,  men  of  Tang  ;X  and  it  was  this  Tang  dynasty 
that  began  that  system  of  public  service  examinations  which 
has  proved  so  powerful  a  bond  of  union.  Some  system  of 
public  instruction — some  kind  of  means  of  at  once  inculcating 

*  See  above,  page  5. 

t  This  region  was  oonseqnently  settled  by  the  present  occnpanta  about  1,000 
to  1,200  jean  ago,  a  respectable  antiquity  for  us,  whose  Anglo-Saxon  pro- 
genitors were  about  the  same  period  coming  into  existence  as  a  separate  race. 
The  following  shows  what  the  Chinese  mean  by  old  ancestry.  A  mandarin  at 
Canton,  himself  a  native  of  Shantung,  being  unpopular  and  subjected  to  what 
he  deemed  disrespectful  treatment  from  the  people,  talked  once  to  me  of  them 
in  very  bitter  terms.  "  They  are  a  rough,  coarse  set  of  people ;  and  they  don't 
know  anything  about  where  they  come  from  or  who  they  are.'*  Here  seeing 
me  stare  at  him,  evidently  at  a  loss  how  to  interpret  his  words,  he  added,  "  These 
Kwang-tung  men  don't  know  who  they  are ;  they  have  got  no  fortfathers."  I  again 
looked  surprised,  for  besides  having  in  my  memory  a  general  notion  of  their 
having  been  in  the  country  for  some  thousand  years,  I  recollected  having  seen 
in  the  neighbourhood  family  tablets  and  graves  several  centuries  old.  "  Before 
the  times  of  Han  and  Tang,"  he  continued,  *'  this  country  was  quite  wild  and 
waste,  and  these  people  have  sprung  from  unconnected,  unsettled  vagabonds 
that  wandered  here  from  the  north."  This  man  was  bom  a  short  distance  from 
the  birth-place  of  Confucius,  and  I  have  no  doubt  could,  by  retracing  his  way 
in  succession  through  the  genealogical  registers  of  the  different  branches  of  his 
family,  have  produced  a  correct  list  of  ancestors  for  2,300  years.  I  had  a  man 
for  some  years  in  my  employ  who  was  one  of  the  numerous  descendants  of  the 
celebrated  moral  philosopher  and  statesman,  Mencius  (Mangtsze)  who  lived 
B.a  350.    Hy  man  was  in  the  seventy-fifth  generation. 

X  The  people  of  Central  China  are  apt  to  call  themselves  Han  jin,  men  of 
Han,  afler  a  former  great  dynasty,  which  ruled  the  Empire  from  b.o.  206  till 
A.]>.  220. 


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38  THE   CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

the  national  principles  and  sifting  out  the  *' worthy  and  able" 
for  administrative  purposes — existed  from  the  earliest  period. 
But  it  was  under  the  Tang  dynasty  that  the  foundations 
were  laid  of  that  particular  system,  which,  developed  under 
succeeding  rulers,  now  exists  as  a  carefully  elaborated  series 
of  competitive  examinations. 

In  my  summary  view  of  China  Proper  in  its  present 
extension  I  remarked  that  its  division  into  eighteen  pro- 
vinces was  purely  political  and  administrative,  the  people 
being  **  the  same  in  all,  the  differences  in  manners  and  dialects 
being  no  other  in  kind  and  scarcely  greater  in  degree  than 
exist  with  us  between  the  Glasgow  factory  man  and  the 
Somersetshire  peasant,  or  the  Northumbrian  hind  and  the 
Cornish  miner."  In  this  I  have  now  nothing  to  modify: 
the  differences  in  manners  and  dialects  are  no  other  in  kind. 
That  most  remarkable  political  construction  of  a  centralized 
autocratic  government,  based  for  long  centuries  on  public  com- 
petitive examinations,  a  system  unparalleled  in  the  world's 
history,  has  produced  effects  to  which  we  find  no  parallel  in 
the  world's  extent.  It  has  induced,  not  compelled,  the 
Chinese  nation  to  devote  itself  to  the  study  of  the  same 
books,  and  these,  observe  well,  books  directly  bearing  on 
domestic  and  social  as  well  as  political  life,  thus  preserving 
them  one  nation,  preserving  them  the  same  in  language  and 
social  manners,  above  all  the  same  in  their  community  of 
fundamental  beliefs  on  man's  highest,  man's  nearest  and  man's 
dearest  interests.  Afler  living  some  twelve  years  among 
them,  during  which  I  saw,  conversed  with,  and  studied  men 
from  every  province  and  neariy  every  class,  this  fact,  grand 
in  its  duration  and  gigantic  in  its  extent,  was  to  the  last  the 
cause  of  a  constantly  growing  admiration.  It  will  be  seen 
that  I  call  China  the  best  misunderstood  country  in  the  world. 
People  have  talked — somebody  talked  first  and  others  keep 
on  talking  after  him — about  the  Chinese  nation  being  the 
same  because  it  has  been  separated  from  other  nations  by 
the  barriers  of  physical  geography,  by  mountains  and  rivers ; 


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PKOGRESS  AND  UNITY  OF  THE  CHINESE  PEOPLE.  39 

while  the  nations  of  Europe  have  been  kept  different  by  being 
separated  from  each  other  by  similar  barriers.  Why,  China 
Proper,  a  Earope  in  extent,  contains  in  itself  rivers  to  which 
the  Rhine  is  but  a  burnie,  and  has  in  it  and  crossing  it 
mountain  chains  that  may  vie  with  the  Alps  and  the  Pyrenees 
in  impassability.  How  is  it  then  that  the  people  in  China 
on  opposite  banks  of  these  rivers,  and  on  opposite  sides  of 
these  mountains  are  the  same  in  language,  manners  and 
institutions,  and  are  united  under  one  government,  while  in 
Europe  the  mountains  and  rivers  separate  people,  in  all  these 
very  qualities,  quite  distinct  nations  ?  The  Chinese  are  one 
in  spite  of  physical  barriers^— it  is  mind,  O  western  mate- 
rialistic observers  1  which  has  yonder  produced  homogeneity 
by  overstepping  matter,  and  not  matter  which  has  secured 
homogeneity  by  obstructing  mind. 

The  above  facts  never  rose  before  me  more  powerfully 
than  they  did  once  during  a  short  stay  I  made  in  Egypt  on 
my  way  home  from  China.  It  was  when  I  realized  a  longing 
of  my  youth  by  seating  myself  on  the  summit  of  the  Great 
Pyramid.  I  was  seized  with  a  kind  of  reverie,  so  apt  to 
oome  over  us  when  we  find  ourselves  on  an  high  place, 
mountain  or  pinnacle;  all  the  kingdoms  of  the  world 
passed  in  review  before  my  mind's  eye. — I  was  occasionally 
bored  by  the  beggings  of  the  Arab  guides  for  backshish. 
I  had  also  for  companion  a  Maine  American.  He  had  been 
some  years  in  California  as  a  lawyer,  from  whence  he  had 
come  straight  west  to  China  on  his  way  to  Europe.  He  was 
travelling  all  over  the  world,  but  was  more  especially  anxious 
to  do  Jerusalem,  the  Holy  Places,  and  Paris.  He  was  an 
excellent  fellow,  but  a  thorough  member  of  that  peculiarly 
American  party,  the  Knowevery things;  and  as  he  kept  com- 
municating enlightened  and  very  free  ideas  to  our  Arabs  he 
somewhat  disturbed  the  course  of  my  reflections ;  though,  as 
an  indemnification,  the  presence  of  so  true  a  specimen  from 
the  young  Giant  Republic  rather  heightened  the  contrasts 
that  occurred  to  my  mind.     My  meditations,  which  were 


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40  THE   CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

somewhat  as  follows,  I  give,  merely  praying  the  reader  to 
pardon  the  touch  of  sentiment  with  which  they  began : 

**  Yes  I  here  I  am  at  last !  In  my  youthful  days,  when  I 
never  hoped  to  quit  the  British  Isles,  two  nations  had  always 
a  great  interest  for  me :  the  old-young  Chinese  and  the  old- 
dead  Egyptians.  I  have  since  spent  the  ten  best  years  of 
my  earthly  life  with  the  former,  I  speak  their  curious  lan- 
guage, and  the  other  day,  at  Nanking,  it  was  my  fate 
actually  to  transact  a  living  part  in  a  paragraph  of  their 
national  history.  I  am  now  on  the  most  famed  monument 
of  the  old  Egyptians. 

"The  Chinese  call  their  country  the  'middle'  one;  but  if 
there  is  any  country  in  the  *  middle '  of  the  world  assuredly 
it  is  this. — Out  there  before  me,  beyond  Cairo,  lies  all  Asia, 
with  its  oldest  of  nations ;  right  away  from  behind  me,  over 
the  ocean,  lies  America  and  its  young  States ;  on  my  left  lies 
Europe  with  its  high  civilization ;  on  my  right  Africa  with 
all  its  low  barbarisms.  And  these  old  stone  blocks  I  am 
sitting  upon,  what  different  peoples  they  have  looked  down 
on  in  this  Nile  valley  below !  First  their  old  hewers  flourished 
and  fell.  Then  came  the  Persians.  Then  the  Greeks  ruled 
here  and  founded  Alexandria.  After  them  came  the  Komans : 
their  traces  are  visible  in  old  Cairo  there.  Egyptians,  Greeks 
and  Romans  have  all  utterly  disappeared  from  the  face  of 
the  earth.  They  have  been  followed  here  by  the  Mahom- 
medan  Arabs,  at  first  enthusiastic  fighters  for  the  name  of 
the  One  True  God,  now  mere  backshish  hunters  from  these 
guides  up  to  their  Pashas.  They  too  must  vanish ;  they  are 
in  fact  vanishing  as  a  nation  before  our  eyes. 

"  The  Chinese  started  in  the  race  of  national  existence 
with  the  oldest  of  the  old  Egyptians,  long  before  this  huge 
mound  of  stones  was  piled  up.  They  outlived  these  their 
ancient  contemporaries.  They  outlived  the  Persians.  They 
outlived  the  Greeks.  They  have  outlived  the  Romans ;  and 
they  will  outlive  these  Arabs.  For  they  have  as  much  youth 
and  vitality  in  them  as  the  youngest  of  young  nations,  the 


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PBOGRESS  AND  UNITY  OP  THE  CHINESE  PEOPLE.  41 

countrymen  of  my  friend  here.  Their  country  is  now  in  a 
state  of  rebellion.  But  if  fame-hunting,  shallow-brained 
diplomatists  do  not  manage  to  bring  down  on  them,  when  at 
a  disadvantage,  the  forces  of  the  superior  physical  civilization 
of  the  west,  if  Westerns  will  only  let  them  alone,  they  will 
in  time  evolve  order  out  of  anarchy,  and  establish  a  govern- 
ment as  strong  as  any  they  have  yet  been  ruled  by. 

"  And  they  are  competing  beyond  the  bounds  of  their  own 
country  with  every  race  on  earth.  Partly  by  fightings  but 
more  by  force  of  superior  moral  civilization  and  industrial 
energy,  they  are  gradually  ousting  the  savage  Malays  from 
the  Indian  Archipelago.  There  is  one  barbarous  race  which 
seems  to  have  the  capability  of  continued  existence  in  it,  and 
does  not  disappear  before  civilization,  the  Negro.  With 
that  race  the  Chinese  are  now  competing,  in  the  sugar  planta- 
tions of  the  West  Indies.  They  are  moving  in  thousands  to 
compete  with  the  Anglo-Saxons  of  Europe  in  the  gold  plains 
of  Australia.  And,  oddest  spectacle  of  all,  the  young  Anglo- 
Saxons  of  America,  the  most  energetic  and  go-ahead  of 
nations,  are  actually  afraid  and  jealous  of  the  enterprise  and 
industrial  energy  of  the  old,  *  immovable,  effete'  Chinese, 
and  have  taken  to  illiberal  legislation  to  keep  their  thousands 
out  of  the  gold  regions  of  California  I 

*'  England  and  France  are  now  going  to  fight  with  Russia 
— in  a  few  days  I  shall  see  both  French  and  English  Soldiers 
at  Malta.  What  are  they  going  to  fight  for?  Not  to  keep 
off  present  danger.  They  are  afraid,  both  of  them,  of  being 
destroyed  by  Kussia  some  50  or  100  years  hence ;  and  they 
are  going  to  engage  in  a  serious  war  expressly  to  prolong  their 
own  duration  as  nations.  Yet  here  are  the  Chinese  who 
have  prolonged  their  existence  for  4,000  years  and  nobody 
asks,  how?  I  believe  I  am  the  only  man  living  that  has 
given  himself  serious  trouble  to  investigate  and  elucidate 
the  causes. 

**  What  narrow  viewed  observers  in  some  respects  Occi- 
dentals are  I    Even  Bunsen  in  his  book  on  Egypt  makes  some 


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42  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  REBELLIONS. 

slighting  remark  on  the  old  Chinese,  as  compared  with  the 
old  Egyptians.  Yet  the  former  had  to  the  latter  something 
of  the  superiority  that  mind  has  to  matter.  They  both  of 
them  tried  to  preserve  and  perpetuate  themselves.  The  old 
Egyptians  tried  to  do  it  by  working  on  dead  matter.  They 
mummied  their  bodies  and  wasted  an  enormous  amount  of 
labor  in  piling  up  these  stone  mountains,  good  for  no  purpose 
of  true  civilization ;  and  Occidentals  look  back  with  respect 
on  them  for  doing  it.  The  old  Chinese  Yaou,  Shun  and 
Kung,  at  the  mere  mention  of  whose  names  these  same 
Occidentals  break  out  into  grins  as  broad  as  those  of  donkeys 
eating  thistles — the  old  Chinese  fixed  their  eyes  on  certidn 
ineradicable  principles  of  man's  mind ;  and  working  on  these^ 
have  founded  and  built  up  a  monument,  the  grandest  and 
most  gigantic  the  world  has  ever  seen,  a  thoroughly  national 
nation  of  360  millions  of  rational,  industrious  and  energetic 
people !" 

To  return  to  our  more  immediate  discussion :  the  Chinese 
in  the  eighteen  provinces  are,  I  repeat,  the  same,  the 
differences  in  manners  and  dialects  being  no  other  in  kind 
and  scarcely  greater  in  degree  than  between  the  North- 
umbrian hind  and  the  Cornish  miner.  But  though  the 
differences  are  none  other  in  kind,  the  word  "  scarcely  "  in  the 
above  passage  has  its  meaning  as  to  the  differences  in  degree. 
These  are  somewhat  greater  even  in  mattera  chiefly  depen- 
dent on  mental  training,  as  language  and  manners;  while 
in  matters  dependent  on  climate  and  on  the  physical  con- 
figuration of  the  various  provinces,  the  differences  are  yet 
more  marked.  The  Northumbrian  hind  is  distant  from  the 
Cornish  miner  but  three  or  four  hundred  miles — while  the 
Chinaman  of  Chih  le  or  Shan  tung  is  some  1500  to  2000 
miles  from  him  of  Kwang  tung  and  Kwang  se.  The  south 
of  Kwang  tung  is  literally  within  the  tropics,  and  the  whole 
province  is  essentially  tropical  as  to  climate  and  productions. 
The  fruits  are  oranges,  lychees,  mangoes  and  bananas,  the 
grain — the  grain, — is  rice,  the  roots  are  the  ground  nut,  the 


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PECULIARITIES  OF  THE  SOUTH  EASTERN  CHINESE.         43 

sweet  potatoe  and  the  yam.     In  the  coolest  season  there  is 
neither  snow  nor  ice;  and  during  the  hottest  of  the  hot 
season  the  English  resident  is  subjected  to  constant,  sensible 
perspiration,    night  and   day,   for    about    120    days.      On 
the   other  hand,  in  Chihi  le  and   the  contiguous   northern 
proyinces,  the  natural  productions  are  wheat,  barley,  oats, 
apples,  the   hazel  nut,  and  the  common  potatoe;   and  in 
winter  the  riTcrs  are  yearly  unnavigable  from  ice  a  foot  thick. 
This  difference  of  climate  has  some  effect  on  the  habits,  and 
the  physical  appearance  of  the  Chinaman.     The  race  being 
the  same  throughout,  we  find  everywhere  the  same  oblique 
looking  dark  eyes,  the  same  black  hair,  and  the  same  yellow 
or   tawny  skin.     But  this  tawny  basis   of   complexion   is 
modified  by  climate.     In  the  northern  half  of  China  we  find 
the  children  all  red-cheeked ;  and  even  the  old  men  are  often 
ruddy  faced.     In  the  south,  red  cheeks  are  never  seen ;  and 
the   sallowness  of  the  dark  complexioned  Italian  prevails. 
But   more    than    the    difference   of  climate  produced  by 
difference  of  latitude,  and  influencing  indeed  that  climate 
itself,  it  is  a  mountain  range  that  has  caused  the  greatest 
differences  which  are  to  be  found  among  the  natives  of  the 
various   Clunese  regions.    I   speak   of  the  watershed  that 
forms  the  southern  edge  of  the  Yang  tsze  basin.     This  is  a 
dpur  of  the   Himalayas,   which  enters  the  country  in  the 
western  province  of  Yunnan,  runs  along  the  north  of  Kwang 
se  and  Kwang  tung,  then  bends  northward  by  the  back  of 
Fuh  keen,  and  ultimately  crosses  the  province  of  Che  Keang 
by  the  city  of  Ningpo  into  the  sea.     Throughout  the  whole 
of  its  course,  this  mountain  range  throws  off  smaller  spurs 
to  the  south  and  east,  all  jutting  into  the  sea ;  in  which  their 
extreme  peaks  form  a  continuous  belt  of  almost  innumerable 
high,  rugged  islands,  throughout  exactly  one  half  of  the 
Chinese  sea  board,  viz.  the  southern  half.     The  well  known 
Chusan  Archipelago  is  the  most  northerly  portion  of  this  belt 
of  islands.     These  islands  with  the  promontories  facing  them 
on  the  mainland,  form  along  a  coast  of  1200  miles  in  extent 


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44  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

a  remarkably  close  series  of  the  safest,  land  locked  harbours ; 
many  of  which  are  at  once  easy  of  access  and  large  enough 
to  contain  the  whole  British  navy.  Our  colonial  settlement 
of  Hong  Kong  is  a  member  of  this  belt  of  islands,  and  its 
bay  one  of  the  best  of  these  harbours. 

Now  a  coast  which  has  neither  harbours  nor  islands  offers 
neither  facilities  nor  inducements  to  its  inhabitants  to  venture 
on  the  sea ;  and  they  may  consequently  occupy  such  a  coast 
for  centuries  without  acquiring  the  hardy,  daring  and  adven* 
turous  character  of  fishermen  and  mariners.  This  has  been, 
and  is  still  the  case  with  the  northern  half  of  the  Chinese 
coast  and  its  population.  With  the  partial  exception  of  the 
natives  of  the  mountainous  Shantung  promontory,  the  in- 
habitants of  that  coast  are  about  the  tamest  of  the  Chinese. 
So  little  are  they  mariners,  that  an  inland  canal — the  well 
known  Grand  Canal — ^has  been  constructed,  beginning 
where  this  very  sea  coast  begins,  at  the  Chusan  group,  and 
running  parallel  to  it  throughout  its  extent,  as  the  medium  of 
that  traffic,  which,  with  a  different  people,  or  a  different  sea 
board  could  have  been  maritime. 

But  the  South  Eastern  Chinese,  the  inhabitants  of  the 
mountainous,  well  harboured  and  island  studded  coast  land, 
composed  of  Kwang  tung,  Fuh  keen  and  the  southern 
half  of  Che  keang,  are  of  a  markedly  different  character. 
Those  most  inland,  where  the  ridges  and  peaks  are  highest, 
partake  of  that  energetic  and  daring  disposition,  which  the 
unavoidable  struggles  with  the  difficulties  and  dangers  of  a 
rugged  region  invariably  gives  its  inhabitants.  In  those 
nearer  the  coast,  the  qualities  of  the  mountaineer  and  of  the 
mariner  are  combined.  Let  me  here  quote  some  generaliza- 
tions of  geographical  ethnology,  which  I  translate  from 
Hegel's  "  Pliilosophie  der  Geschichte." 

"  The  sea  gives  us  the  conception  of  the  Undefined,  the 
Unlimited  and  Infinite;  and  as  man  feels  himself  in  the  sphere 
of  this  Infinite,  so  does  he  thereby  feel  encouraged  to  step 
beyond  the  worid  of  restrictions.     The  sea  invites  man  to 


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PECULIARITIES  OF  THE  SOUTH  EASTERN  CHINESE.         45 

conquest^  to  rapine^  but  in  like  manner  to  profit  and  acquisi- 
tion by  trade ;  the  land — the  great  valleys — attach  man  to 
the  soil :  he  is  thereby  brought  into  an  infinite  number  of 
states  of  dependence,  but  the  sea  carries  him  out  of  these 
confined  orbits.  Those  who  navigate  the  sea  seek  to  gain, 
to  acquire ;  but  their  medium  is  perverted  in  such  manner 
that  they  put  their  property  and  even  their  lives  in  danger 
of  loss.  The  medium  is  therefore  the  opposite  of  that  which 
is  aimed  at.  It  is  this  precisely  which  elevates  traffic  above 
itself  and  makes  it  something  brave  and  noble.  Courage 
must  now  enter  into  trade  ;  bravery  at  the  same  time  being 
associated  with  prudence.  For  bravery  opposed  to  the  sea 
must  at  the  same  time  be  craft,  since  it  has  to  deal  with  the 
crafty — with  the  most  uncertain  and  deceitful  element. 
Thb  endless  plain  is  absolutely  soft,  for  it  resists  no  pressure 
not  even  a  breath :  it  looks  infinitely  innocent,  yielding,  kind 
and  caressing.  And  just  this  yielding  is  it,  which  transforms 
the  sea  into  the  most  powerful  element  To  such  deceit 
and  force  man  opposes  but  a  simple  piece  of  wood,  relies 
merely  on  his  courage  and  presence  of  mind,  and  so  passes 
from  the  Firm  to  the  Unstable,  himself  taking  with  him  his 
fabricated  ground.  The  ship,  this  swan  of  the  sea,  which 
with  light  and  rounded  movements  traverses  the  watery  plain 
or  circumnavigates  in  it,  is  an  instrument  whose  invention 
does  the  greatest  honor  as  well  to  man^s  boldness,  as  to  his 
understanding. 

*'  This  issuing  forth  into  the  sea  from  the  restrictions  of 
the  land  is  wanting  to  the  splendid  Asiatic  state  edifices, 
even  when  they  border  on  the  sea,  as  for  instance,  China.  For 
them  the  sea  is  but  the  cessation  of  the  land ;  they  have  no 
positive  relation  to  it.  The  activity  to  which  the  sea  invites 
is  a  quite  peculiar  one;  and  hence  it  is  that  coastlands  almost 
always  separate  themselves  from  the  inland  regions,  and 
that,  too,  even  when  connected  with  the  latter  by  a  river. 
Thus  has  Holland  separated  itself  from  Germany,  Portugal 
from  Spain.** 


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46  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

I  have  quoted  this  because  it  enables  me^  in  the  words  of 
a  great  philosopher^  to  throw  light  on  the  origin  and  nature 
of  a  difference  in  character  that  exists  between  the  South 
Eastern  Chinese  and  the  rest  of  their  countrymen;  also 
because  it  is  another  proof  of  my  statement  that  the  Chinese 
are  the  "  best  misunderstood  people  of  the  world."  Hegel's 
generalizatiops  are  sound ;  and  his  application  of  them  to  the 
States  of  India  and  Persia  may  be  strictly  correct.  But, 
when  he  applies  them  to  China  he  at  once  errs ;  though  his 
generalizations  being  as  such  true,  they  are,  when  rightly- 
applied,  only  substantiated  by  certain  differences  of  character 
among  the  Chinese.  The  "  issuing  forth  into  the  sea "  is 
wanting  to  the  Chinese  of  the  northern  coastland,  as  I  have 
just  shown  ;  but  it  is  long  since  the  South  Eastern  Chinese — 
the  inhabitants  of  Kwang  tung  and  Fuh  keen,  commonly 
known  as  Canton  men  and  Fukeen  men, — have  so  issued 
forth.  It  is  they  who,  after  occupying  all  inhabitable  portions 
of  the  belt  of  islands  on  their  coast,  colonized  Formosa  and 
Haenan ;  proceeded  then  in  their  junks,  which  if  neither  so 
large  nor  so  graceful  as  our  vessels  may  at  least  be  called 
**  ducks  of  the  sea,"  to  Siam,  to  Manilla,  to  Borneo,  Java, 
Singapore  and  the  Indian  Archipelago  generally;  where  they 
are,  sometimes  under  the  eyes  of  the  Europeans,  sometimes 
in  places  little  visited  by  us,  elbowing  out  the  native  Malays 
by  dint  of  superior  industry  and  energy  as  well  in  the  arts 
of  peace  as  in  those  of  war.*  They  are  superseding  the 
aboriginal  inhabitants,  much  as  the  Anglo-Saxons  have  super- 
seded the  Bed  men  of  America.  These  South  Eastern  Chinese, 
these  Canton  men  and  Fukeen  men,  are  in  short  the  Anglo* 
Saxons  f  of  Asia,  as  sailors,  as  merchants,  as  colonists  and, 

*  It  is  Btated  that  in  one  of  Brooke's  expeditions  from  Sarawak  into  the 
interior  he  was  accompanied  by  a  body  of  Chinese  auxiliaries,  and  that  they 
were  ready  to  go  where  he  and  his  Englishmen  went  on  occasions  where  the 
native  auxiliaries,  '^fierce  savages,"  refused. 

t  At  page  28,  in  showing  what  a  laige  amount  of  personal  freedom  is 
enjoyed  by  Chinese,  I  pointed  out,  as  one  of  the  reasons,  the  paucity  of 
military  and  police  establishments;  which   paucity  left,  in  every  district. 


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CHARACTEB  OF  THE  SOUTH  EASTERN  CHINESE.  47 

indeed,  as  adventurers  generally ;  for  I  may  add,  they  are 
the  Chinese,  whose  gain-seeking  and  adventurous  spirit  is 
carrying  them  in  thousands  to  the  gold  mines  of  California 
and  Australia,  the  guano  islands  of  Peru  and  the  sugar 
plantations  of  the  West  Indies. 

Hegel,  in  the  passage  above  quoted,  points  out  how  the 
different  character,  engendered  in  the  inhabitants  of  coast- 

numbeiB  of  towns  and  Tillages  uncontrolled  by  official  agents.  The  natural 
confiequenoe  is  a  large  amount  of  local  self  government,  to  which  no  one  who 
Tiflits  China  can  shat  his  eyes,  and  which  is  an  insoluble  problem  to  those  who 
penUi  in  seeing  in  the  goyemment,  a  despotism,  and  in  the  people,  slaves. 
This  local  self  government  is  fiscal,  as  regards  common  local  objects,  and  penal 
as  rq^rds  minor  offences ;  such  as  petty  thefts  and  the  less  serious  assaults. 
Chinese  hamlets,  villages,  and  even  country  tovms  are  usually  inhabited  by  people 
of  one  common  surname  and  ancestry,  forming  a  tribe  or  clan — a  state  of  things 
unknown,  I  believe,  in  any  other  equally  civilized  country.  Herein  we  find  a 
eonaistent  Chinese  reason  for  the  non-interference  of  the  imperial  officials ;  for 
the  authority  of  a  father  or  grandfather  is,  by  Chinese  principles,  paramount 
in  his  own  family.  But  when,  in  the  course  of  generations,  the  family  has 
increased  into  a  clan,  we  find  no  one  arbitrary  "chief"  but  a  communal  govern- 
ment exercised  by  the  more  energetic  of  the  respectable  members  of  the 
eommunity,  more  especially  its  "  literary  gentry,"  i.  e.  any  literary  graduates  it 
may  have  produced ;  for  even  in  local  self  government  tJie  institution  of  China 
has  a  marked  practical  influence.  The  communal  authorities  or  municipal  magis- 
trates, so  constituted,  meet  for  the  transaction  of  business  in  some  public  place, 
—often  a  temple — ^where  all  matters  of  common  interest  are  openly  discussed. 
Such  matters  of  common  interest, — the  home  reader  must  mark  this — are  some- 
times nothing  less  than  inter-communal  wars.  These  are  conflicts  between  adja- 
cent communities  (often  about  boundary  lines)  which  last  for  days  and  weeks. 
The  foreigners  have  witnessed  some  of  them.  After  considerable  destruction 
of  life  and  property,  they  are  usually  ended  by  formal  treaties  of  peace;  and  aU 
this  takes  place  without  the  least  intervention  on  the  part  of  the  Imperial 
officials. 

I  need  not  point  out  how  much  this  system  of  local  self  government  and  self 
protection  tends  to  engender  those  very  qualities  of  voluntary  respect  for 
Tiriual  law,  and  power  of  combination  for  common  purposes,  which  distinguish 
the  Anglo-Saxons  among  Occidental  nations.  In  these  qualities  all  Chinese 
resemble  the  Anglo-Saxons,  for  the  system  exists  in  different  degrees  of  inde- 
pendence of  the  Imperial  authorities  all  over  China.  So  far  as  I  could  see,  or 
leam,  it  exists  nowhere  in  more  independence  than  in  the  south-eastern  coast- 
land  ;  and  when  the  reader  in  addition  to  this  bears  in  mind  the  character  of 
its  population  as  fishermen,  mercantile  mariners,  and  as  colonists,  he  will 
acknowledge  the  correctness  of  the  name  given  them  of  the  Anglo-Saxons  of 
Asia.  One  of  the  chief  differences  is  that  we  are  past  our  buccaneering  stage 
now. 


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48  THE  CHINESE  AKD  THEIR  BEBELLIONS. 

lands  by  their  position  and  natural  occapations^  is  such  as' 
produces  a  tendency  to  political  separation,  as  in  the  case  of 
Holland  from  Germany,  Portugal  from  Spain ;  and  that,  too, 
in  spite  of  such  powerful  bonds  of  connection  as  the  Rhine 
and  the  Tagus.  That  the  coastland  of  south  eastern  China 
should  have,  in  times  of  political  commotion,  exhibited  a 
similar  tendency  will  not  surprise  the  reader,  especially  when 
he  is  reminded,  that  far  from  being  connected  with  the  rest  of 
China  by  any  great  navigable  river,  it  is  naturally  separated 
from  the  inland  country  to  its  north  and  west  by  a  continuoua 
watershed  which  rivals  the  Pyrenees  as  a  bar  to  frequent  and 
easy  communication ;  being  traversable  for  military  and  com- 
mercial purposes  only  by  a  few  steep  passes.  Of  these  the 
Mei  kwan  (or  Mei  pass)  which  penetrates  this  watershed 
where  the  latter  bears  the  appellation  of  the  Mei  mountains, 
is,  under  the  name  of  the  Mei  ling  pass,  best  known  to  us ; 
having  been  traversed  by  both  our  embassies,  and  recently  by 
M.  Hue.  In  the  quarto  account  of  Macartney's  Embassy, 
the  height  of  the  pass^  of  course  one  of  the  lowest  points  in 
the  ridge,  is  reckoned  at  8,000  feet  above  the  sea,  or  twice 
the  height  of  the  top  of  Ben  Lomond.  Some  of  the  peaks 
farther  north,  in  Fuh  keen,  are  known  to  be  12,000  feet 
high. 

What  is  it,  then,  which  has  been  effectual  to  counteract 
the  separative  tendency  here  where  it  operates  under  cir- 
cumstances so  favourably?  Simply  the  public  competitive 
examinations,  one  of  the  avowed  objects  of  which  is,  in 
addition  to  that  of  procuring  the  best  materials  for  an  able 
executive,  to  give  Chinese,  in  the  remotest  comers  of  the 
Empire  a  direct  interest  in  political  union.  Express  regula- 
tions are  consequently  made  for  this  latter  purpose.  For 
example. — Throughout  the  Empire,  a  certain  number  of 
licentiates'  degrees  is  allotted  to  each  province,  but  to  each 
province  generally^  there  being  no  sub-allotment  to  its 
several  departments.*     But  in  the  province  of  Fuh  keen, 

*  I  refer  the  reader  here  to  the  remarks  on  page  21. 


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CHARACTER  OF  THE  SOUTH  EASTERN  CHINESE.  49 

of  which  the  colony  of  Formosa  is  one  department,  a  dis- 
tinction is  made  in  favour  of  the  latter:  by  law  a  certain 
number  of  the  Fuh  keen  licentiates  must  come  from  the 
department  of  Formosa.  It  is  worthy  of  remark  that  the 
spirit  of  emulation  in  the  young  colonists  usually  super- 
sedes this  law;  their  own  ability  and  acquirements  are 
generally  found  to  place  the  requisite  number  in  the  van 
of  the  list  of  candidates  passed  at  the  triennial  provincial 
examination. 

Of  this  south  eastern  China,  that  portion  formed  by 
Kwang  se  does  not  belong  to  the  coastland,  but  is,  on 
the  contrary,  an  essentially  inland  region.  A  glance  at  the 
map  will  show  that  it  is  composed  of  the  upper  valley  of  the 
large  river  that  falls  into  the  sea  at  Canton  and  of  the 
valleys  of  its  upper  affluents.  This  river,  I  should  remind 
the  reader  in  passing,  though  small  when  compared  in^hina 
with  the  *'  Great  River,"  or  Yang  tsze,  and  tl^^  Yell^tv 
River,  is  about  the  size  of  the  largest  in  ]5J((Jtrope,'w  the 
Danube.  Kwang  se  was  the  last  portion  of  ^i^h  System 
China  up  into  which  the  Chinese  people  found^l^ipi^  way  as 
colonists;  and  to  this  day  the  high  mouatsiiii  ravines,  all 
around  it,  remain  in  the  possession  of  tKe  aboriginal  race, 
the  mountain  tribes  best  known  as  Meaou  tsze,  and  already 
sufficiently  noticed  at  page  5.  But -there  appears  to  have 
been  two  immigrations  of  the  Chinese  people  into  Kwang  se, 
or  two  series  of  immigrations  with  an  interval  of  time  between 
them  long  enough  to  give  rise  to  a  distinction  between  old 
or  "  native  "  Kwang  se  people  (puntes)  and  the  "  strangers," 
kih  keas.  Though  called  '^strangers,"  these  latter  have 
been  settled  for  several  generations  in  the  province,  and 
have  numerous  towns  and  villages  there,  though  neither  so 
large  nor  so  opulent  as  those  of  the  "  native  "  Kwang  se 
men.  The  "strangers'*  immigrated  originally  from  the 
Kwang-tung  sea-board,  from  which  they  appear  to  have 
been  constantly  deriving  accessions  up  to  the  outbreak  of  the 

E 


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50  THE   CHINESE  AND   THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

present  rebellions,*  From  what  will  appear  in  the  sequel 
the  reader  will  perceive  how  entirely  these  rebellions,  that  of 
Kwang  se,  not  less  than  those  which  have  broken  out  on 
the  coast-provinces,  have  proceeded  from  the  energetic  and 
venturous  coastlanders  of  south-eastern  China. 

Those  of  these  coastlanders  who  inhabit  the  southern  half 
of  Chekeang  differ  least  in  character  from  the  other  Chinese ; 
as  might  be  inferred  from  their  greater  proximity  to  the 
original  seat  of  the  race,  and  to  the  great  plain  of  central 
China.  Still  Europeans  have  noticed  a  difference  in  energy, 
l)Oth  for  peaceful  and  for  warlike  avocations^  even  between 
the  natives  of  the  Chusan  islands  and  the  Ningpo  mountains 
on  the  one  hand,  and  the  population  of  the  alluvial  flats 
about  Shanghae  on  the  other ;  though  the  localities  are  only 
about  100  miles  apart.  Of  all  the  coastlanders,  those  from 
the  tract  about  Amoy  and  Namoa  have  been  for  years  known 
to  us,  and  much  longer  to  their  own  countrymen,  as  the 
most  turbulent,  reckless  and  adventurous  of  the  Chinese. 

*  It  will  be  seen  further  on,  at  page  85,  that  when  Hung  sew  tseuen  went 
first  to  Kwang  se,  he  sought  out,  and  lived  for  some  months  with  "  a  relative ;" 
and  Mr.  Hamberg's  book  expressly  states  that  the  most  of  the  Godworshippera 
were  <'kih  keas  "  or  strangers. 


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M.   Hue's  OPINIONS  OF  THE  CHINESE.  61 


CHAPTER  V. 

M.   HUC'S  OPINIONS  OP  THE  CHINESE. 

Ireland  was  once  called  the  best  abused  country  in  the 
world.  I  deliberately  and  seriously  declare  China  to  be  the 
best  misunderstood  country  in  the  world.  Month  after 
month  we  continue  to  have  notices,  articles  and  books  about 
itj  all  furnishing  proof  of  the  correctness  of  this  assertion. 
The  last  book  that  has  appeared,  L'Empire  Chinois  by 
M.  Hue,  seems  to  me  to  demand  special  notice  both  on 
account  of  its  comprehensive  title  and  of  the  name  of  its 
author — still  more  because  of  its  errors. 

The  work  treats  of  men  and  things  in  general  in  China. 
But  instead  of  a  methodical  arrangement  in  chapters,  accord- 
ing to  the  subjects,  M.  Hue  gives  us  a  diary  of  his  journey 
imder  escort  from  the  borders  of  Thibet  through  the  central 
and  southern  provinces  to  Canton ;  in  which  diary  he  inter- 
sperses, k  propos  to  anything,  many  pages  of  discursive  disser- 
tation on  the  philosophy,  ethics,  language,  literature,  govern- 
ment &c  &C.  of  the  Chinese.  On  all  these  subjects  M.  Hue 
quotes  or  reproduces  either  from  the  Jesuit  missionaries, 
who  resided  at  the  court  of  Peking  about  150  years  ago,  or 
from  the  Parisian  sinologues  of  the  last  and  present  genera- 
tion, Bemusat,  Juiien  and  their  scholars.  M.  Hue  boasts 
much  of  the  superior  advantages  which  his  knowledge  of  the 
Chinese  language,  joined  to  twelve  or  fourteen  years'  resi- 
dence in  China,  gives  him;  yet  he  does  little  to  correct 
certain  pardonable  errors  into  which  some  of  these  latter 

e2 


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52  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

gentlemen,  none  of  whom  were  ever  in  China,  fall,  and 
wherever  he  ventures  to  depart  from  his  authorities  he  is  apt 
to  propagate  errors  himself.  As  I  know  that  much  miscon- 
ception exists  with  respect  to  the  opportunities  of  Catholic 
missionaries  of  the  present  day^  I  believe  I  shall  do  a  public 
service  by  a  special  consideration  of  the  subject. 

I  could,  on  the  authority  of  a  French  missionary  who  had 
been  very  much  in  the  interior  of  China,  state  the  total  num- 
ber of  native  Christians  at  five  hundred  thousand ;  but  I  will 
not  dispute  M.  Hue's  estimate  of  eight  hundred  thousand ; 
which,  as  he  correctly  observes,  is  a  mere  nothing  in  the  enor- 
mous population  of  the  country.  There  are  85  counties  in 
Great  Britain.  Take  one  of  average  population  and  divide  it 
into  five  parts.  The  population  of  one  of  these  parts  has  the 
same  relation  to  the  inhabitants  of  Great  Britain  that  the 
highest  estimate  of  Chinese  catholics  has  to  the  inhabitants 
of  China.  These  catholic  Christians  are,  however,  not  col- 
lected in  one  place,  but  live  scattered  over  all  China  proper, 
in  small  communities,  called  by  the  French  chr^tient^s.  There 
being,  as  M.  Hue  states,  scarcely  any  converts  made  at  the 
present  day,  it  follows  that  the  members  of  these  Christianities 
are  educated  and  trained  as  Christians  from  their  infancy ; 
being  either  foundlings,  or  of  Christian  Chinese  parentage. 
They  are  Chinese  in  the  outward  and  more  obvious  charac- 
teristics of  dress  and  features,  but  in  other  respects  are  more 
like  Bavarians  or  Neapolitans  than  their  own  countrymen ; 
from  whom  they  differ  in  many  of  those  social  and  domestic 
customs  and  in  all  those  mental  peculiarities  which  constitute 
the  special  nationality  of  the  Chinaman.  Not  only  is  it  im- 
possible to  learn  among  them  what  the  infidel  Chinese  are, 
it  can  hardly  be  learned  from  them ;  inasmuch  as  even  those 
of  them  who  have  travelled  in  the  provinces  are  less  able  to 
understand  it,  than  the  intelligent  and  well-informed  European 
on  the  coast;  whose  habit  of  considering  various  nationalities 
gives  him  facility  in  thinking  himself  into  an  intellectual, 
moral  and  religious  life,  different  from  his  own.     The  reader 


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M.  hug's  opinions  of  the  CHINESE.  53 

can  now  exactly  appreciate  the  manner  of  life  of  the  catholic 
missionarieH  as  described  in  M.  Hue's  own  words : 

**  lis  sont  proscrits  dans  toute  I'^tendue  de  Fempire ;  ils  y 
entrent  en  secret^  avec  toutes  les  precautions  que  pent  sug- 
gerer  la  prudence,  et  ils  sont  forces  d'y  r^sider  en  cachette, 
pour  se  mettre  Sl  Tabri  de  la  surveillance  et  des  recherches 
des  magistrats.  lis  doivent  meme  ^viter  avec  soiu  de  se 
produire  aux  yeux  des  infideles,  de  peur  d'exciter  des  soup- 
90ns,  de  donner  T^veil  aux  autorites  et  de  compromettre 
leur  minist^re,  la  s^curite  des  chretieus  et  I'avenir  des  missions. 
On  comprend  que,  avec  ces  entraves  rigoureusement  imposees 
par  la  prudence,  il  est  impossible  au  missionnaire  d'agir 
directement  sur  les  populations  et  de  donner  un  libre  essor  a 

eon  zele Aller  d'une  chretiente  k  Tautre,  instruire  et 

exhorter  les  nfophytes,  administrer  les  sacrements,  celebrer 
en  secret  les  f^tes  de  la  sainte  Eglise,  visiter  les  ecoles,  et 
encourager  le  maitre  et  les  Aleves,  voild.  le  cercle  ou  il  est 
forcer  de  se  renfermer."  (T.  I.  p.  167.) 

I  know  from  others,  men  intimately  acquainted  with  the 
life  of  missionaries  in  the  interior,  that  this  is  no  overcharged 
description  of  the  restrictions  they  there  labour  under.  Of 
himself  M.  Hue  says : 

**  Au  temps  oii  nous  vivions  au  milieu  de  nos  chretient^s, 
nous  ^tions  forces,  par  notre  position,  de  nous  tenir  a  une 
distance  plus  que  respectueuse  des  mandarins  et  de  leur 
dangereux  entourage.  Notre  s^curite,  et  celle  surtout  de 
nos  neophytes,  nous  en  faisait  une  stricte  obligation.  Comme 
les  autres  missionnaires,  nous  n'avions  gufire  de  rapport  qu'a- 
Tec  les  habitans  des  campagnes  et  les  artisans  des  villes." 
(T.  L  p.  91.) 

Again,  speaking  of  China  proper: 

''  Autrefois,  lors  de  notre  premiere  entree  dans  les  missions, 
nous  I'avions  dejd  parcouru  dans  toute  sa  longueur,  du  sud 
an  nord,  mais  furtivement,  en  cachette,  choisissant  parfois 
les  ten^bres  et  les  sentiers  detourncs,  voyageant  enfin  un  peu 
it  la  fa9on  des  ballots  de  contrebande.'' 


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54  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  REBELLIONS. 

Such,  then,  were  M.  Hue's  opportunities  up  to  the  period 
when  he  commenced  the  two  or  three  months^  ^  journey 
described  in  the  volumes  now  under  consideration.  He 
however  dwells  much  upon  the  opportunities  this  latter 
afforded  him,  more  especially  for  being  "initiated  into  the 
habits  of  Chinese  high  society,  in  the  midst  of  which  we 
(M.  Hue  and  colleague)  constantly  lived  from  the  frontiers 
of  Thibet  to  Canton.^'    (Preface  xxii.) 

A  special  search  of  the  two  volumes  shows  that  at  Tching 
tou  fou  he  appeared  in  court  before  the  Fiscal  and  Judicial 
Commissioners,  and  stood  in  their  presence  while  being  sub- 
jected to  an  interrogatory.  Thb  was  one  occasion  on  which 
he  saw  "high"  society.  At  the  same  place  he  appeared  twice 
before  the  Governor  General  (vice-roi).  That  made  three 
occasions.  At  Au  tchang  fou  he  forced  hb  way  into  the 
presence  of  the  Governor  of  Hou  pe,  who  accorded  him  a 
short  and  dry  interview.  That  made  four  occasions — ^and  I 
find  no  more.  All  other  functionaries  whom  M.  Hue  saw 
were  prefects  of  department,  district  magistrates  (prefets)  or 
men  of  still  less  rank.  Now  these  are  officers  whom  the  French 
and  British  Consuls  at  Shanghae  and  Ningpo  will  not  permit 
to  correspond  with  them  as  equals;  a  fact  that  may  be  known 
to  M.  Hue  himself.  He  states  indeed  that  at  Tching  tou 
fou  the  favorable  reception  of  the  viceroy 

^^  Nous  mit  en  relation  avee  les  personnages  les  plus  haut 
places  et  les  plus  distingues  de  la  ville,  avee  les  grands 
fonctionnaires  civil  et  militaire." 

If  M.  Hue,  by  "  mit  en  relation,"  means  that  he  received 
a  present  of  fruit  and  cakes  sent  in  the  name  of  the  '^  grands 
fonctionnaires,"  I  can  understand  it ;  for  it  is  part  of  the 
business  of  the  stewards  at  the  head  of  their  enormous  esta- 
blishments to  do  these  things,  with  or  without  special  instruc- 
tions. But  I  know  very  well  that  Chinese  functionaries  of 
the  rank  of  the  Fiscal  and  Judicial  Commissioners,  or  even 

*  There  is  roeh  a  paucity  of  dates  in  the  book  that  I  am  unable  to  ascertain 
the  exact  time.    With  steady  trayelUng,  two  months  would  suffice. 


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M.   hug's  opinions  of  the   CHINESE.  55 

those  placed  much  lower  in  the  official  scale^  do  not  inter- 
change visits  with  "barbarians,"  whom  they  have  had  led 
before  them  as  prisoners.  Moreover  M.  Hue  is  not  the 
writer  to  withhold  from  us  a  special  notice,  in  his  own  lively 
style,  of  any  visits  of  such  high  personages  had  they  actually 
taken  place. 

We  see  then  that  M.  Hue's  direct  connection  with  the 
"  high  society ''  limits  itself  to  a  legal  examination,  two  per- 
mitted interviews  and  one  intrusion.  Nevertheless  he, 
either  in  his  own  words  or  in  those  of  M.  Remusat,  a 
Parisian  sinolc^ue,  ridicules  (Preface  xvii. — xxi.)  the  oppor- 
tunities of  the  members  of  the  two  English  embassies ;  main- 
tains that  they  travelled  like  prisoners;  and  states  that 
*'  none  of  them  knew  the  language  of  the  country.^'  I  am 
literally  at  a  "  loss  to  conceive  "  how  this  latter  assertion 
could  be  made.  With  the  last  embassy  (Lord  Amherst's) 
were  present  Sir  G.  Staunton,  who  made  the  well-known 
and  well-done  translation  of  the  Chinese  Penal  Code ;  and 
Sir  John  Davis,  subsequently  author  of  "  the  Chinese,"  and 
translator  of  several  works,  and  who  was  then,  as  a  young 
man,  chosen  to  accompany  the  embassy  precisely  because  he 
did  know  the  language.  Lastly  the  interpreter  of  the 
embassy  was  Dr.  Morrison,  author  of  the  best  Chinese 
dictionary  in  existence ;  and  whose  knowledge  of  the  Chinese 
language,  people,  and  institutions  very  much  exceeded  that 
of  M.  Bemusat  and  M.  Hue  put  together.  Both  embassies 
spent  four  months  in  the  interior  of  China;  both  were  at 
Peking,  and  the  first  resided  some  time  in  that  city ;  both 
traversed  the  whole  length  of  the  country,  through  its  most 
important  provinces;  the  members  of  both,  in  the  course 
of  this  traverse,  walked  about  in  many  of  the  cities  they 
passed,  and  visited  points  that  attracted  their  attention  six  to 
ten  miles  out  of  their  route ;  lastly,  during  the  whole  of 
the  four  months  that  each  spent  in  China,  those  members 
who  could  speak  the  language  were  in  daily  communication, 
and  had  long  familiar  conversations  with  functionaries,  such 


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56  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

as  M.  Hue  saw  four  times  and  was  then  obliged  to  stand 
before.  If  any  man  can  lay  claim  to  having  seen  Chinese 
"  high  society  '*  that  man  is  Sir  G.  Staunton.  During  both 
embassies,  he  had  frequent  opportunities  of  conversing,  not 
only  with  provincial  Governors  (vice-roys),  but  even  with  the 
first  Cabinet  Ministers ;  while  he  is  the  only  living  European 
who  has  spoken  to  a  Chinese  Emperor ;  and  that  Emperor, 
it  so  happened,  one  of  the  most  intelligent  and  most  pro- 
sperous monarchs  the  world  has  ever  seen. 

So  much  for  the  opportunities  of  the  English  embassies. 
But  I  am  enabled  to  assert  confidently  that  M.  Huc*8 
contemporaries,  the  gentlemen  who,  during  the  twelve  years 
that  have  elapsed  sino^  the  war,  have  served  as  official  inter- 
preters* (French  or  English)  at  the  Five  Open  Ports  have 
had  greater  opportunities  than  M.  Hue  himself.  He  does 
indeed  try  to  "bar"  them  and  others  who  have  resided  at  these 
Ports  by  declaring  the  latter  to  be  "  a  moiti^  Europ^ennises." 
This  is  however  but  another  of  M.  Hue's  inaccurate  allega- 
tions ;  which  I  should  have  to  expose  were  it  only  to  prevent 
readers  from  forming  a  most  incorrect  notion  of  the  ope- 
ration of  the  Occidental  communities  (nearly  altogether 
composed  of  English  and  Americans)  on  the  Chinese. 

There  are  in  all  the  Five  Ports  probably  not  fifty  Chinese 
who  can  read  and  write  English.  Most  of  these  are 
lads,  scholars  of  Protestant  missionaries ;  and,  of  the  whole 
number,  the  most  advanced  find  expressions  to  puzzle  them 
in  every  page  of  plain  English  narrative.  Of  Chinamen  who 
can  speak  (I  cannot  say  more  or  less,  but)  less  or  still  less  of 
broken  English,  without  being  able  to  read  or  write  a  word, 
there  may  be  about  five  thousand.  These  are,  without 
exception,  servants  of  different  kinds,  to  the  foreigners, 
tradesmen  who  deal  with  them,  and  "  linguists  "  who  act 
as  interpreters  and  brokers  between  them  and  the  large 
merchants.  They  are  all  illiterate  as  Chinese,  while  their 
vocabulary  of  English  words  is  so  extremely  limited,  that 
*  The  writer  and  his  colleagoes. 


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M.   hug's  opinions  of  the  CHINESE.  57 

they  can  barely  express  themselves  about  the  most  concrete 
matters  and  the  most  direct  business  transactions.  Such 
13  the  extent  and  nature  of  the  instruments  by  the  incidental 
acts  of  which  must  have  been  effected  atiy  Europeanization 
of  the  Five  Ports ;  whose  aggregate  population  is  reckoned  at 
two  to  three  millions.  The  truth  is  that  these,  the  only 
instruments,  remain  themselves  as  much  Chinamen  as  any  of 
their  countrymen  in  the  Eighteen  Provinces.  Let  the  reader, 
if  acquainted  with  retired  China  merchants,  desire  them  to 
say  whether  the  body  servants  who  attended  them  through- 
out their  10  or  15  years'  residence  in  the  country — and 
whose  fathers  and  grandfathers  were  probably  similar  ser- 
vants,— whether  these  men  had  by  one  hair's  breadth  de- 
parted from  the  manners,  customs,  and  habits  of  thought  of 
their  countrymen  generally.  The  Five  Ports  have  been 
decidedly  less  Europcanized  than  the  five  British  towns 
of  Glasgow,  Whitehaven,  Liverpool,  Pembroke  and  Bristol 
have  been  continentalized  by  the  comparatively  far  greater 
proportion  of  foreign  residents.  Now  will  M,  Hue  maintain 
that  an  educated  Frenchman,  free  to  reside  at  any  of  these 
British  ports  and  to  spend  all  his  time  with  the  natives ;  free 
also  to  buy  any  and  every  English  book,  and  to  engage  the 
services  of  learned  Englishmen  to  aid  in  their  study,  would 
not  be  able,  after  years  of  residence,  to  acquaint  himself  with 
the  character  and  institutions  of  the  British  people  ?  Sup- 
pose that  such  Frenchmen  were  not  only  perfectly  free  at 
these  British  ports,  but  while  having  permanent  habitations 
there  could  at  four  of  them  go  away  without  hindrance  into 
the  surrounding  country  and  cities  to  the  distance  of  20, 
80,  and  even  60  miles  on  excursions  lasting  weeks,  would 
Frenchmen,  so  situated,  be  less  able  to  speak  about  England 
than  other  Frenchmen,  whose  residence  of  equal  duration 
had  been  in  a  great  measure  spent  in  traversing  the  interior 
of  the  island  like  kegs  of  spirits  without  permits — "^  la 
fagon  des  ballots  de  contrebande,"  and  associating  only  with 
^'peasants"  and   <^  artisans,"  and   these  mentally  different 


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58  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONB. 

from  the  rest  of  the  natives ;  for  instance  (to  parallel  the 
contempt  in  which  Catholic  Christians  are  held  in  China) 
with  the  followers  of  Johanna  Sonthcote  ?  Such  a  position 
as  I  have  desired  the  reader  to  suppose  that  of  Frenchmen  at 
four  British  ports,  has  been  the  position  of  the  British  and 
French  official  interpreters  at  four  of  the  open  ports  in 
China.*  The  seniors  have  all  had  frequent  occasion  to  see 
officials  of  equal  rank  and  standing  with  the  highest  of  those 
whom  M.  Hue  saw  four  times ;  and  they  then  did  not  stand 
to  be  examined,  but  sat  and  talked  for  hours.  With  the 
officials  of  a  lesser  rank  they  have,  during  12  years  main- 
tained an  intercourse  certainly  not  less  familiar  than  that 
which  M.  Hue  had  with  the  same  class  of  mandarins  during 
the  two  or  three  months  of  his  journey. 

If  we  except  the  intercourse  with  the  officials,  the  upper 
class  in  China,  then  the  Protestant  missionaries  at  the  Five 
Ports  have  had  all  the  opportunities  of  the  government  inter- 
preters. I  may  add  that  several  of  the  protestant  mission- 
aries have  wives  who  speak  Chinese  well,  a  circumstance 
that  gives  them  unusual  facilities  for  getting  an  acquaintance 
with  the  domestic  life  of  the  middle  and  lower  classes  of  the 
veritabls,  unchristianized  or  "infidel"  Chinese.  The  celi- 
bacy of  the  Catholic  missionaries  bars  them  all  access  to 
that  domestic  life,  in  a  country  where  the  different  sexes 
cannot  hold  free  communication,  unless  connected  by  close 
family  ties. 

I  trust  I  have  said  enough  to  dispel  the  "  interior  of  the 
country  "  illusion.  Since  the  British  war,  the  balance  of 
opportunity  for  learning  has  been  decidedly  in  favour  of 
those  who  have  resided  at  the  Five  Ports.  But  occidental 
readers  would  do  well  to  accept  no  one  as  an  authority 
because  of  his  opportunities  alone.  Each  writer  should  give 
proof  that  he  has  availed  himself  of  them  for  the  acquisition 

*  At  the  fifth,  Canton,  the  ill  feeling  of  the  people  has  acted  as  a  restriction 
80  far  as  exeursiona  to  the  eurrounding  country  is  concerned. 


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M.   hug's  opinions  of  the  CHINESE.  59 

of  accarate  information.  This  proof  M.  Hue  fails  to  give ; 
as  an  examination  of  the  present  volumes  will  show. 

To  commence  with  the*  Map ;  to  the  correctness  of  which 
he,  announcing  himself  as  a  corrector  of  other  travellers' 
errors,  was  bound  to  see.  At  the  mouth  of  the  great  river 
of  China  we  find  "Yang  tseu  kiang  ho  on  FL  Bleu." 
Now  kiang  means  river  (or  stream  as  applied  to  large  rivers) 
ho  means  river,  and  Yang  tseu  is  a  proper  name.  "  Yang  tseu 
kiang  ho  "  is  therefore  as  ridiculous,  and,  to  the  mouth  of  a 
Chinaman  as  impossible,  as  Der  Rheinstrom  Fluss  would  be 
to  that  of  a  German  or  Thames-river-river  to  that  of  an 
Englishman*  As  for  '^Bleu,^'  the  name  which  M.  Hue 
gives  the  river  throughout  his  book,  because  as  he  says 
(T.  I.  p.  189)  "Europeans  so  name  it,"  I  suspect  M.  Hue 
would  be  greatly  puzzled  to  find  among  the  Europeans  who 
have  navigated  it,  and  live<j[  at  Shanghae  or  one  of  its 
affluents  for  the  last  twelve  years,  any  one  person  who  ever 
saw  or  heard  it  so  named.  In  the  last  few  hundred  miles  of 
its  course,  its  waters  contain  at  all  seasons  so  much  mud  in 
suspension  as  to  make  it  a  deep  yellow.  Its  common  Chinese 
name  is  Ta  keang  or  Chang  keang,  Great  or  Long  River.* 

The  Map  does  not  contain  Hongkong  at  all,  and  though  it 
has  the  names,  as  Chinese  towns,  of  the  Five  Ports,  it  does 
not  in  any  way  indicate  their  distinctive  character  as  per- 
manent stations  of  foreigners.  This  must  be  considered  as 
a  negative  propagation  of  error  in  a  work  entitled  "the 
Chinese  Empire ; "  Jfor  all  these  places  have  as  residences  of 
foreigners  (not  been  Europeanized  certainly,  but)  been 
objects  of  a  special  and  just  solicitude  on  the  part  of  the 
Imperial  government  since  the  War. 

In  T.  I.  p.  37,  M.  Hue  speaks  of  Tching  tou  fou,  capital 
of  "la  petite  province **  of  See  tchouen.  Sse  tchouen  is 
notoriously  the  largest  province  in  China.  It  is  60,000 
square  miles,  or  two  Irelands,  larger  than  the  next  province 

*  Great  Birer  will  be  the  name  need  in  the  remainder  of  this  volame. 


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60  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

Yunan,  and  it   has  actually  from  twice  to  four  times  the 
superficial  extent  of  each  of  the  remaining  sixteen  provinces. 

When  M.  Hue  (p.  53)  describes  Sse  tchouen  as  "  la  pro- 
vince la  plus  civilisee,  peut-Stre,  du  celeste  empire,"  more 
than  its  full  significance  must  be  given  to  the  "  perhaps/^ 
Apart  from  the  fact  that  it  contains  within  its  boundaries  a 
great  number  of  barbarous,  or  even  savage,  aboriginal  tribes, 
even  its  Chinese  population  cannot  be  said  to  equal,  much 
less  to  excel,  in  mental  cultivation  and  in  refinement  of 
manners  the  inhabitants  of  the  ancient  capital,  Nanking,  of 
Hang  chow  and  Soo  chow,  and  of  the  provinces  in  which 
these  cities  lie ;  all  famed  throughout  the  land  for  their  luxury 
and  their  literature. 

At  T.  I.  p.  57,  M.  Hue  describes  the  personal  appearance  of 
the  Pou  tching  sse  (Superintendent  of  Provincial  Finances) 
before  whom  he  stood  to  be  examined.  Of  his  dress  he 
says  "  Son  costume  ^tait  superbe ;  sur  sa  poitrine  brillait 
un  large  ^cusson,  oii  etait  represents  en  broderie  d'or  et 
d^argent  un  dragon  imperial;  un  globule  en  corail  rouge, 
decoration  des  mandarins  de  premiere  classe,  surmontait 
son  bonnet." 

Now  to  this  I  have  to  object,  in  the  first  place,  that  the 
globule  of  the  mandarin  hat  is  not  what  we  understand  by  a 
"decoration"  but  is  a  part  of  the  regular  uniform  (like 
epaulets) ;  secondly,  that  the  Pou  tching  sse  does  indeed 
wear  a  red  one,  not  however  the  red  one  of  the  first  class, 
but  of  the  second,  to  which  by  his  oflSce  he  belongs.  I  pass 
this,  however,  as  the  Pou  tching  sse  M.  Hue  saw  may  have 
had  first  class  rank  by  brevet.  But  I  cannot  get  over  the 
"imperial  dragon."  I  admit  that  he  is  a  most  excellent 
animal  with  which  to  astonish  an  admiring,  uninitiated, 
European  audience*  But  I  contracted  my  brows  the  moment 
I  found  him  figuring,  in  M.  Hue's  book,  in  the  ecusson  on  the 
breast  of  a  Pou  tching  sse;  and  must  remain  incredulous  till 
M.  Hue  explains  how  he  got  there.  For  I  happen  to  have  more 
than  once  spent  some  time  with  Pou  tching  sses,  both  when 


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M.   hug's  opinions  of  the  CHINESE.  61 

these  latter  were  in  half  dress  and  in  full  uniform ;  and  I  saw 
no  dragon  on  their  poo  fuh  or  ^cusson.  Further,  the  Pou 
tching  sse  is  a  civilian,  and  civilians  have  by  regulation  each 
a  bird  on  their  ^cusson.  The  military  have  quadrupeds ;  but 
on  referring  to  a  copy  of  the  Chinese  Red  Book  I  find  no 
dragon  in  any  class.  As  few  of  my  readers  may  be  able  to 
get  a  sight  of  this  useful  little  book  of  reference,  and  fewer 
still  would  be  able  to  read  it,  I  refer  them  to  vol.  I.  of  "  the 
Middle  Kingdom,"  where  they  will  find  a  description  of 
Chinese  uniforms.  This  work  is  by  Mr.  Williams,  one  of 
those  protestant  missionaries  whom  M.  Hue,  in  more  than 
one  place,  rather  superciliously  alludes  to  as  **  protestantes 
methodistes,"  and  whose  knowledge  and  doings  he  derides. 
I  recommend  him  to  read  carefully  what  some  of  them  have 
written  on  China,  before  he  publishes  a  third  edition  of  his 
"  Empire  Chinois." 

Of  the  nine  classes  or  orders  of  Chinese  officials  M.  Hue 
says  [T.  I.  p.  100]  correctly,  **  Chaque  ordre  est  subdivis6 
en  deux  series:"  but  immediately  adds,  what  is  quite  wrong, 
**  L*une  active  et  officielle,  I'autre  surnumeraire."  He  himself 
rightly  describes  [p.  54]  the  two  officers  Pou  ching  sse  and 
Ngan  cha  sse  as  being  in  each  province  the  most  important 
under  the  "  vice  roi "  and  as  charged  with  its  "  administra- 
tion g^n^rale."  Now  the  one  belongs  to  the  second  subdi- 
vision of  the  second  class,  the  other  to  the  first  subdivision  of 
the  third  class;  and  the  one  is  at  the  head  of  fiscal  affiiirs, 
the  other  at  the  head  of  criminal  affiiirs :  which  then  is 
**  active  et  officielle,"  and  which  merely  '*  surnumeraire  ^' ? 

There  are  other  erroneous  statements  about  the  official 
system,  as,  for  instance,  where  he  (T.  I.  p.  99)  states  that  the 
titles  koung,  heou,  &c.  (corresponding  to  **  due,  marquis, 
&c.")  are  not  hereditary,  not  transmissible  to  descendants. 
Many  of  those  who  bear  these  titles,  have  before  the  latter 
the  prefix  "  she  seih,  hereditary  "  and  they  are  transmitted 
accordingly.  A  man  who,  speaking  Chinese,  has  passed 
twelve  years  in  China  without  knowing  this  must,  I  am 


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62  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  REBELLIONS. 

compelled  to  qbj,  have  had  his  ejes  and  ears  very  much 
closed. 

At  T.  I.  p.  114  M.-Huc  says  that  the  officer  with  whom 
he  was  lodged  "  se  nommait  Pao  Bgan  ou  Tresor  cach^e." — In 
these  two  words  he  violates  grammar  in  a  way  that  I  should 
not  pardon  in  a  sinologue  of  three  months'  standing.  In 
Chinese  the  adjective  invariably  precedes  the  noun^  and  here 
the  two  Chinese  words,  if  held  to  be  in  grammatical  con- 
nexion at  all,  must  be  rendered  "  precious  or  valuable  secret.  ** 
But  I  object  altogether  to  M«  Hue's  translating  of  this  and 
many  other  proper  names ;  which  the  Chinese  regard  only  as 
such,  Such  translating  is  often  very  forced;  and  though 
it  is  amusing — very  oriental,  and  ten-thousand-miles-oflFjr 
I  admit — still  it  is  so  at  the  certain  cost  of  propagating 
misconception,  by  increasing  that  grotesque  colouring  already 
too  much  the  light  in  which  Occidentals  are  habituated  to 
see  the  Chinese,  and  which,  therefore,  it  is  the  duty  of  each 
successive  writer  to  strive  to  lessen.  A  Frenchman  would 
not  be  considered  to  have  rendered  the  views  of  his  country- 
men on  "British  eccentricity"  more  truthfiil,  who,  on  re- 
turning from  a  visit  to  England,  would  say  that  he  had 
landed  at  Mare-de-foie,  Chasseur  de  colombe  ou  Plier-bouche 
instead  of  Liverpool,  Dover  or  Plymouth ;  and  that  he  had 
travelled  from  the  latter  port  to  London  by  way  of  Bain,  Lec- 
ture et  Yirginite,  instead  of  Bath,  Reading  and  Maidenhead. 

At  T.  I.  p.  405  by  way  of  proving  the  total  incorrectness 
of  the  prevalent  idea  that  the  Chinese  people  '^  a  naturelle- 
ment  de  I'antipathie  contre  les  etrang^res,  et  qu'il  s'est  tou- 
jours  appliqu^  a  les  tenir  eloign^s  de  ses  frontibres,"  he  states 
^'  Marco  Polo  y  a  6t6  tr^s  bien  accueilli  k  deux  epoques  dif- 
ferentes  avec  son  pere  et  son  oncle.  Quoique  Venitiens  ils  y 
ont  m^me  exerce  des  fonctions  publiques  et  de  la  plus  haute 
importance,  puisque  Marco  Polo  fut  gouvemeur  d'une  pro- 
vince  Tout  prouve  done  que  les  Chinois,  &c.  &c." 

Marco  Polo  himself  was  only  at  one  "  ^poque  "  in  China, 
and  neither  he  nor  his  two  relatives  were  ever  employed  by 


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M.  Hue's  OPINIONS  OF  THE  CHINESE.  63 

Chinese.  They  were  employed  by  the  Mongul  Tartars,  whom 
they  helped  to  conquer  the  Chinese;  a  circumstance  from 
which  we  may  infer  that  the  latter  must  have  had  a  special 
*' antipathic"  against  these  three  "Strangers'*  at  all  events. 

At  T.  I.  p.  453  M.  Hue  shows  us  the  deck  of  a  British 
frigate  in  action.  When,  during  our  war,  a  Chinese  maritime 
city  was  to  be  destroyed,  a  frigate  quietly  took  up  her 
elation  at  any  distance  she  pleased,  and  then  "while  the 
officers,  seated  at  table  on  the  poop,  manoeuvred  at  their 
ease  with  champagne  and  madeira,  the  seamen  methodically 
bombarded  the  city."  It  is,  we  see,  not  about  China  alone 
that  M.  Hue  is  informing. 

In  T.  n.  p.  135  M.  Hue  speaks  of  Eaen  lung  as  the 
'^denxi^me  empereur  de  la  dynastic  mantchoue."  He  was 
the  fourth. 

At  T.  II.  p.  385  M.  Hue  has :  "  le  Tcheou  ly,  ouvrage 
attribue  aux  cel^bre  Tcheou  kong,  qui  monta  sur  la  tr6ne 
en  1122  avant  J.  C.'^  Tcheou  kong  is  indeed  celebrated, — so 
much  so,  that  I  am  astonished  to  find  M.  Hue  ignorant  of  the 
fact  that  he  is  held  never  to  have  "  mounted  the  throne  "  at 
all.  He  was  at  the  utmost  regent  for  his  nephew ;  but  is  best 
known  as  a  muster  of  devoted  and  able  ministers.  M.  Hue 
might  as  well  tell  us  of  the  time  when  ^'  Joseph  mounted  the 
throne  of  Egypt,^^  or  "  Samuel  the  throne  of  Israel." 

I  have  noticed  the  above  errors,  not  because  of  importance 
in  themselves,  but  because  they  unmistakeably  indicate  no 
little  ignorance  on  M.  Huc*s  part,  of  the  institutions  and 
history  of  the  Chinese,  as  well  as  much  superficiality  in  his 
acqmuntance  with  their  language  and  literature,  which,  I 
warn  the  reader,  must  prevent  his  being  accepted  as  an 
authority  in  matters  of  the  greatest  importance  on  which  he 
makes  sweeping  and  unqualified  assertions.  The  warning  is 
here  the  more  necessary,  as  though  I  may  find  space  to  meet 
some  of  his  erroneous  assertions  with  a  contradiction,  I  can- 
not enter  into  any  lengthened  and  complete  refutations. 
M.  Hue  avers  again  and  again  with  varied  phraseology 


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64  THE  CHINESE   AND  THEIR  BEBELLIONS. 

that  the  Chinese  are  "  destitute  of  religious  feelings  and 
beliefs,"  *'  sceptical  and  indifferent  to  everything  that  con- 
cerns the  moral  side  of  man,"  "  having  no  energy  except 
for  amassing  money,'*  **  absorbed  in  material  interests,'* 
"their  whole  lives  but  materialism  in  action,"  "sunk  in 
temporal  interests,"  "pursuing  only  wealth  and  material 
enjoyments  with  ardour/^  In  these  assertions  M.  Hue  is 
supported  by  other  living  writers  (English  and  Americans) 
who,  each  pronouncing  judgment  from  a  very  shallow  con- 
sideration of  what  has  fallen  under  his  own  eyes  in  China, 
describe  the  whole  nation  of  Chinese  as  "  short  sighted  utili- 
tarians, industrious  and  gain  seeking." 

All  this  is  baseless  calumny  of  the  higher  life  of  a  great 
portion  of  the  human  race.  I  should  therefore  in  any  case 
have  held  it  a  duty  to  meet  it  with  unequivocal  contradiction 
and  strong  condemnation.  I  now  feel  especially  called  on  to 
do  so ;  as  it  is  impossible  that  the  present  revolutionary  move- 
ment can  be  rightly  appreciated  if  a  total  misconception  of 
the  Chinese  intellectual  and  moral  nature  is  allowed  to 
prevail. 

In  the  first  place,  I  would  ask  my  English,  American  and 
French  readers  :  What  is  it  that  the  hundreds  of  thousands 
of  our  respective  countrymen  who  hurry  daily  through  the 
streets  of  London,  New  York  and  Paris  are  after?  Are 
they  or  are  they  not  "  pursuing  wealth  and  material  enjoy- 
ments with  ardour" — "absorbed  in  material  interests" — "  utili- 
tarians, industrious  and  gain-seeking?"  Why  have  the  English 
been  called  "  shopkeepers,"  the  Americans  "  dollar-hunters," 
and  why  do  these  names  stick?  Why  are  there  eighty 
thousand  women  in  the  streets  and  public  places  of  London, 
and  why  is  there  an  enormous  organized  prostitution  in 
Paris?  Christianity  grafted  on  the  old  Teutonic  respect  for 
woman  has  led  to  strict  monogamy  among  us ;  and  this  has 
prevented  the  large  prevalence  of  crimes  that  undoubtedly 
do  exist  among  the  Chinese,  as  among  other  polygamic 
nations.     In  addition  to  these,  from  which,  be  it  observed. 


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M.  hug's  opinions  of  the   CHINESE.  65 

the  monogamic  West  is  not  altogether  free,  the  Chinese  have 
moreoyer  many  vices  and  faults ;  but  these  vices  and  faults 
are  mostly  identical  in  kind  with  those  existing  among 
Occidental  nations,  and  are  not  more  prevalent  in  degree. 
And  this  is  my  position.  I  do  not  simply  admit,  I  assert 
myself,  as  the  result  of  a  long  independent  study  and  close 
observation^  that  the  great  mass  of  the  Chinese  are  most 
certainly  '^  sunk  in  material  interests,''  ^^  pursuing  with 
ardour  only  wealth  and  material  enjoyments ;"  just  as  are 
the  great  mass  of  English,  French,  and  Americans.  But  as 
there  exists  in  the  extreme  West  among  this  very  gain- 
seeking  majority,  a  large  amount  of  generosity,  of  public 
spirit,  and  of  ineradicable  right  feeling,  which  may  be  appealed 
to  with  perfect  confidence  whenever  a  great  cause  19  im- 
perilled; and  which  then  impels  them  to  lavish'' with^^un- 
sparing  self-sacrifice,  alike  the  gains  they  amas^^nd  th^  very 
lives  spent  in  amassing  them;  so  does  thei^e  .exisi'  in  the 
extreme  East  among  the  mass  of  habitu)^.,g^Y)iseeker8  a 
similar  public  spirit,  and  a  like  right  feeli^^  .  And  as  there 
does  undoubtedly  exist  among  English,  BVeiich  and  Ameri- 
cans a  minority,  higher  in  nature,  dotuated  by  higher 
motives,  aiming  at  higher  aims — a  minority  ever  silently 
working  for  good,  and  from  time  to  time  working  openly 
with  irresistible  power, — so,  precisely  so,  does  there  exist 
a  similar  minority  among  the  Chinese.  My  quarrel  with 
M.  Hue  and  the  other  writers  is  that  they  either  deny  the 
existence  of  this  minority  in  China  altogether,  or,  what  has 
practically  the  same  effect,  leave  it,  as  well  as  the  latent 
public  spirit  and  fundamental  right  feeling  of  the  majority, 
totally  out  of  view  in  their  pictures.  In  doing  so  they 
portray  a  people  that  can  have  no  existence,  any  more  than 
a  nation  of  centaurs.  Such  a  people  as  they  depict  would 
not  be  human  beings,  but  unhumans.  I,  on  the  other  hand, 
m»ntain  nothing  more  extraordinary  than  that  the  Chinese 
are,  as  a  nation,  composed  of  men  and  women,  exhibiting 
all  those  varieties  of  character,  both  in  degree  and  in  quality, 

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66  TU£  CHINESE  AND  TUEIB  REBELLIONS. 

that  those  other  collections  of  men  and  women  called  nations, 
do  exhibit — nothing  more  and  nothing  less. 

M.  Hue  asserts  that  the  Chinese  are  destitute  of  religious 
feelings.  If  by  this  he  means  nothing  more  than  that  the 
Chinese  show  no  ready  aptitude  to  embrace  his  form  of 
Christianity,  no  alacrity  to  desert  the  Confucian  tablet  or 
the  Buddhist  idol  for  the  images  of  the  Saints  and  the 
Virgin,  I  fully  and  thoroughly  agree  with  him.  And  if 
Protestant  writers  mean,  when  they  "  endorse "  •  such 
opinions,  that  the  Chinese  display  little  intellectual  or  moral 
promptitude  to  adopt  their  several  creeds,  which  less  enforce 
the  great  truths  of  Christianity,  as  ^^  peace  on  earth  and 
good  will  towards  men  "  than  they  plant  repulsively  before 
the  unprepared  mind  of  the  heathen  the  bare  results  of  some 
centuries  of  doctrinal  disputes,  and  sectarian  bickerings,  then, 
with  them  likewise  I  am  fully  agreed.  In  that  case  we  are 
quite  at  one  as  to  the  religiosity  of  the  Chinese.  But  if  by 
**  want  of  religious  feeling  "  they  mean  to  assert  that  the 
Chinese  have  no  longing  for  immortality ;  no  cordial  adnura- 
tion  of  what  is  good  and  great ;  no  unswerving  and  unshrink- 
ing devotion  to  those  who  have  been  good  and  great;  no 
craving,  no  yearning  of  the  soul,  to  reverence  something 
High  and  Holy,  then  I  differ  from  them  entirely  and  empha- 
tically contradict  their  assertion.  The  religious  feeling,  so 
understood,  is  as  natural  to  man  as  hearing  and  sight ;  and 
I  never  yet  heard  of  a  nation  or  even  a  small  tribe  com- 
posed wholly  of  people  deaf  and  blind.  M.  Hue  himself 
dilates  on  the  circumstance  that  China  is  covered  with 
temples  and  monasteries^  well  or  richly  endowed;  and  in 
spite  of  his  after  statement  that  they  are  the  result  of  an 
^^  old  habit,'*  I  certainly  adhere  to  the  simple  and  obvious 
explanation  that  they  are  called  into  existence  by  strong 
religious  feeling,  however  ill  directed.  I  may,  indeed,  here 
observe  that  when  M.  Hue  and  the  other  writers,  after  a 

*  Are  the  people  who  daily  extend  the  application  of  this  word  " absorbed  ** 
or  not,  in  the  pursuit  of  gain  1 


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M.  Hue's  OPINIONS  OF  THE  CHINESE.  67 

positive,  sweeping  assertion  of  their  psychologically  impos- 
sible propositions,  come  to  deal  with  the  more  palpable  facts, 
they  unavoidably  contradict  themselves.  They  are  then 
found  declaring  that  throughout  the  long  course  of  Chinese 
history,  good  and  great  men  have  abounded,  and  that  heroic 
spirita  have  ever  come  forward  to  fight  and  die  for  what  they 
held  ta  be  truth  and  justice. 

There  is  but  little  outward  resemblance  between  a  Scandi- 
navian Sea-king  and  a  long  nailed,  learned  Chinese ;  and  an 
old  graduate  of  this  kind,  who  came  about  two  years  ago 
direct  from  Peking  to  my  service  had  certainly  never  heard 
the  tale  of  the  rover  who  suddenly  refused  baptism  because 
he  preferred  following  his  forefathers  to  hell.  Yet  in  a  casual 
oonversatioui  he  spoke  with  some  feeling  of  the  statements 
that  certain  Chinese  Christians  had  recently  made  to  him 
about  the  fate  of  Confucius,  and,  by  way  of  fully  expressing 
his  own  sentiments  on  the  subject,  he  wound  up,  his  old  lip 
quivering  and  his  eyes  glistening  as  he  looked  fully  at  me 
his  interlocutor :  ^^  If  it  is  true  that  so  wise  and  good  a  man 
as  our  Holy  Sage  has  gone  to  hell,  then  I  want  to  go  to 
heU  too.'* 

Within  the  last  two  years  I  had  frequent  occasion  to 
describe  the  doctrines  and  progress  of  the  Nanking  insur- 
gents to  Confucianists,  and  to  observe  them  sink  into  dejec- 
tion as  they  listened.  But  in  more  cases  than  one  the  hearer 
would  suddenly  rouse  himself  and  say  in  a  hopeful  confident 
tone :  "  They  will  never  get  the  empire ;  they  will  never  get 
the  empire ;  seay  puh  shing  ching,  falsehood  will  never  over- 
come truth."  Whether  their  ideas  of  what  *'  truth  "  is  were 
just  or  not,  I  ask:  Do  materialists  draw  practical  consolation 
from  such  abstract  propositions  ? 

Believe  me,  reader,  both  of  these  men  were  sincere ;  and 
there  is  plenty  of  such  confidence  in  truth,  and  devotion  to 
goodness  to  be  found  in  China. 

The  following  proof  of  the  correctness  of  my  views,  will, 
for  the  philosophical  linguist  go  far  to  be  decisive.     The 

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68  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR   BEBELLIONS. 

general  reader  may  not  be  aware  of  the  fact  that  nations  are 
ever  in  the  act  of  pronouncing  unconsciously^  judgments  on 
themselves,  by  the  changes  in  the  meanings  and  applications 
of  words  which  take  place  in  the  natural  growth  of  their 
languages.     No  judgments  are  more  true;    they  are  very 
slowly  formed ;  and,  being  unconscious,  are  absolutely  impar- 
tial. *    Now  the  Chinese,  like  all  other  civilized  peoples, 
have  speculated  long  and  largely  on  the  origin  and  nature  of 
the  inanimate  world  and  of  man.     Further,  for  700  years 
they  have  had  systematized  metaphysics,   and  lastly,  their 
philosophy,  systematized  and  unsystematized,  has  penetrated 
into  popular  life,    and  influenced  popular  language  to  an 
extent   unequalled   perhaps   in   the  mental  history  of  any 
other  people.     Like  most  other  peoples  who  have  pushed 
metaphysical  speculation  to  the   extreme  limit  of  human 
thought,!  they  have  rested  on  two  eternally  existing,  ulti- 
mate ihingsy  the  one  a  power  or  cause,  the  other  a  some- 
thing in  which  that  power  operates.     The  first  is  in  some 
systems  regarded  as  intelligent  will,  in  others  as  unintelligent 
law :  it  is  in  both  cases  the  ultimate,  immaterial  element  of 
the  universe.     The  second  is  the  finest  or  most   ethereal 
thinkable  shape  of  matter;  out  of  which  all  that  we  see  with 
our  eyes  and  feel  with  our  hands  is  made.     In  some  systems 
it  is  co-eternal  with  the  first,  in  others  it  is  created  by,  or 
evolved  out,  of  it :  in  both  cases  it  is  the  ultimate,  material 
element  of  the  universe.    In  Chinese  the  ultimate  immaterial 
element  is  called   le;    the   ultimate  material  element  ke. 

*  The  applications  of  words  may  record  historical  facts  too,  more  reliably  and 
correctly  than  the  pen  of  the  chronicler.  Scott  shows  this  in  the  opening  scene 
of  his  lyanhoe  where  the  jester  illastrates  to  the  swineherd  the  relatiye 
positions  of  the  Normans  and  Saxons  as  conquerors  and  subjects,  by  showing 
that  so  long  as  animals  require  care  and  trouble,  they  bear  Saxon  names,  as  ox, 
calf,  swine ;  but  that  when  they  become  objects  of  nutrition  and  enjoyment 
they  have  Norman  names,  as  beef,  veal,  and  pork. 

f  We,  it  must  be  borne  in  mind,  do  not  explain  the  origin  of  matter  when  we 
refer  it  to  the  creative  power  of  God.  To  account  for  a  thing  by  referring  it 
to  the  act  of  an  Incomprehensible  Being  is  but  another  way  of  declaring  it 
unaccountable  and  incomprehensible. 


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M.   hug's  opinions  of  the   CHINESE.  69 

Taking  the  English  language  in  a  general  way,  i.  e.  keeping 
aloof  from  the  specialities  of  the  philosophical  schools,  the 
ultimate  immaterial  element  is  designated  by  law,  mind, 
spirit,  mental,  &c. ;  the  ultimate,  material  element  by  matter, 
material,  &c.  Hence  the  Chinese  le  is  equivalent  to  first 
cause,  law,  mind,  mental,  &c.,  the  ke,  to  matter,  material,  &c. 
The  Chinese,  like  the  English  words,  are  not  used  meta- 
physically only,  but  in  popular  life,  and,  as  I  have  above 
intimated,  they  are  largely  so  used.  To  sinologues  I  need 
not  say  which  of  the  two  words  le  and  ke  is  most  largely  so 
used.  To  others  I  have  merely  to  state  that  le  is  the  word 
which  in  our  translations  is  rendered  by  ''right  principles,'' 
**  reason,''  "  reasonable,"  &c.,  and  then  all  who  have  read 
translations  of  Chinese  books  and  proclamations  may  perceive 
for  themselves  how  completely  the  idea  of  the  predominance 
of  the  mental  to  the  material  has  penetrated  into  every 
comer  of  Chinese  existence.  When  a  Chinaman  high  or 
low,  and  in  political  or  in  the  most  ordinary  aifairs,  wants  to 
say  that  an  act  is  just,  right,  reasonable,  a  duty,  or  necessary, 
he  says  that  it  is  in  accordance  with,  or  required  by  le,  i.e. 
by  the  immaterial  principle,"  by  mentality,  or  spirituality. 
On  the  other  hand,  "  Twan  woo  tsze  le, — decidedly  there  is 
no  such  immaterial  principle"  or  "mentality" — is  the  exact 
Chinese  counterpart  of  our  English,  ''It  is  most  unjust, 
unreasonable,  false  or  absui*d.''  Again,  the  same  idealistic 
feature,  the  same  mindishness,  of  the  lowest  Chinese  is  shown 
in  the  universally  attested  fact  of  their  settling  disputes, 
mentally  rather  than  physically,  by  arguments  rather  than 
by  blows.*  The  word  ke  is  to  a  certain  extent  used  of 
man's  moral  side ;  but  then  generally  in  a  bad  sense,  being 


*  Some  have  thouglit  the  Chinese  ayersion  to  blows  proceeded  from  cow- 
ardiee.  3och  is  not  the  case.  It  is  the  disgrace  and  scandal  of  fighting  that 
deters  him  moi«  than  physical  timidity.  The  notion  of  an  innate  cowardice  in 
the  Chinese  indiyidoal  is  another  of  oar  popular  fallacies,  which  a  closer  expe- 
rienoe  is  rapidly  dispelling.  I  have  not  space  to  expose  the  fallacy  at  length. 
During  the  war  a  handfnl  of  British  troops  would  disperse  the  nndisciplined 


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70  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

applied  to  his  passions  rather  than  to  his  higher  mental 
qualities.— "  Puh  yaon  sSng  ke.  Don't  bear  (or  produce) 
matter"  is  the  common  Chinese  expression  for  "Don't  get 
into  a  passion." 

Our  English  word  godly,  derived  from  the  name  of  the 
Being  from  whom  we  hold  mind  and  matter  to  have  pro- 
ceeded^  does  indeed  include  the  idea  of  what  is  right  and 
just.  It  is,  however,  not  a  synonym  of  these  two  words,  and 
is  moreover  little  applied  to  the  affairs  of  the  world,  political 
or  social.  But  what  do  we  say  in  English  when  we  want  to 
express  that  a  thing  or  affair  is  of  serious  import, — ^not  to  be 
treated  lightly — very  important?  Why,  we  say  that  it  is 
very  "mattery,"  that  it  is  "most  material."  And  to  such 
an  extent  have  materialistic  tendencies  and  views  become 
predominant  in  English  life,  that  very  correct  writers  apply 
our  names  of  the  ultimate  material  principle,  matter  and  its 
paronyms,  in  a  most  incongruous  way  in  the  purely  intellectual 
and  moral  regions  of  human  being.  So  foreign  to  the  Chinese 
is  the  identity  we  have  admitted  between  matter  and  impor- 
tance, that  the  attempt  to  indicate  in  their  language  that  a 
thing  or  affair  is  "  very  important"  by  saying  that  it  is 
"very  ke"  would  convey  to  them  no  idea  at  all;  while  to 
Occidentals  acquainted  with  the  Chinese  language  the  com- 
bination is  so  ludicrous  that  I  am  convinced  every  sinologue 
must  smile  as  he  reads  what  I  have  just  said.  In  China  the 
linguists  and  servants  of  the  foreign  merchants  render  the  le 
by,  reason,  or  "  leeson  '^  as  they  mispronounce  it  "  No  got 
leeson.  It  is  unspiritual,  unmental "  urge  they,  when  their 
masters  insist  on  something  unjust,  harsh  or  absurd  being 
done.  The  very  likely  reply  is :  "  It  must  be  done,  it's  most 
material." 

I  give  another  proof  drawn  from  language.  The  Chinese 
equivalent  to  our  words  affair,  occupation,  business  is  sze, 

and  companttiyely  unarmed  crovfcU  of  men  called  Chinese  Boldien.  So  also 
a  sergeant's  party  will  in  our  streets  disperse  a  crowd  of  comparatively  unarmed 
rioters.    Does  this  latter  fact  prove  that  the  common  Englishman  is  a  coward  1 


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M.  HUC'S  OPINION  OF   THE   CHINESE.  71 

which  is  also  used  as  a  verb  in  the  sense  to  do^  to  be  busy 
about  anything.  This  word  is  compounded  of  the  old  pic- 
torial character  for  the  human  hand^  and  the  word  ^^  she 
historian/'  «.  e.  etymologically  rendered  it  signifies :  things 
which  the  hand  of  the  historian  might  record,  things  worthy 
of  record^  recordable  things.  To  this  word  sze  another  is 
frequently  added  in  conversation,  ^Using  the  passions''  or,  in 
a  good  sense,  ''  the  common  feelings  of  human  beings."  As 
forming  a  compound  with  sze  in  the  signification  of  affair 
or  business,  this  word  isinff  resembles  our  word  '^  concern," 
that  which  affects  or  concerns  man's  feelings.  Now  when 
a  CSiinaman  sees  a  number  of  people  running  to  one  point 
or  looking  toward  one  spot ;  or  sees  a  man  start  suddenly 
or  get  angry;  or  marks  an  unusually  dejected  or  a  happy 
expression  in  the  faces  of  his  acquaintance,  he  asks :  ^^  Shin 
ma  szCf  What's  the  thing  worthy  of  record"  or  **  Shin  ma  sze 
iring.  What  is  the  recordable  thing  and  concern  of  the 
feelings."  The  Englishman  under  the  like  circumstances 
invariably  asks:  ^'  What^s  the  matter?"  To  his  mind  it  has 
become  natural  to  assume  that  curiosity,  fright,  anger,  grief, 
and  pleasure  must  be  all  caused  by  matter,  the  ultimate 
material  principle. 

In  addition  to  the  above  proofs  from  that  picture  of  national 
mind,  national  language,  I  could,  did  time  and  space  permit, 
prove  from  their  ethics  that  the  Chinese  are  thorough  idealists 
as  compared  with  the  English  and  French. 

As  above  stated,  M.  Hue  does  not  stand  alone  in  his  mis* 
appreciation  of  the  Chinese  character  in  this  respect.  One 
of  our  ofllicial  sinologues  Mr.  T.  F.  Wade  published  in  1850 
a  pamphlet  entitled  ''The  Chinese  Empire  in  1849."  This 
is  a  carefully  prepared  and  informing  notice  of  the  palpable 
occurrences  of  the  period  which  it  deals  with.  But  it  is 
utterly  misleading  where  it  generalizes  on  the  then  political 
state  of  the  country,  and  on  the  character  of  the  people.  It 
intimated,  I  may  observe,  that  there  was  no  "ground  for 
apprehending  that  revolution  was  on  foot  within  the  Flowery 


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72  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  EEBELLIONS. 

Land ;"  yet,  in  the  province  adjoining  that  in  which  those 
words  were  being  written,  that  insurrectionary  movement 
had  been  initiated,  which  speedily  assumed  dynastic  impor- 
tance, and  which  has  ever  since  engaged  the  whole  military 
energies  of/  the  Imperial  government.  It  is  however  the 
judgments  of  the  pamphlet  on  the  national  character  that  I 
feel  called  on  here  to  notice  and  oppose.  It  describes  the 
Chinese  as  nothing  but  ^^short-sighted  utilitarians,  industrious 
and  gain  seeking,^'  and  declares  that  the  ^^ national  mind" 
has  "  become  infinitely  vicious^^ ;  a  condemnation  of  a  whole 
people  rather  too  strong  to  obtain  credence  when  once  atten- 
tion has  been  directed  to  its  sweeping  and  exaggerated 
nature.  As  M.  Hue  speaking  of  the  recorded  teachings  of 
Confucius  tells  us  that  they  contain  "  un  grand  nombre  de 
banaliiSs  sur  la  morale";  so  Mr.  Wade  teUs  us  that  the 
Chinese  philosophy  is  ^^  puerile  and  unattractive  when  not 
tamely  moral."  Is  it  then  wrong  to  be  moral  ?  Must  we  say 
of  the  Chinese,  when  they  conduct  themselves  properly  in 
the  relations  between  man  and  man,  that  they  are  addicted 
to  morality? 

As  both  M.  Hue  and  Mr.  Wade  are  acquainted  with  the 
Chinese  language,  and  as  each  of  them  has  passed  about  the 
same  time  in  China  that  I  have,  it  will  be  satisfactory  to  the 
reader  to  have  the  recorded  testimony  of  another  living 
sinologue,  who  has,  I  believe,  lived  longer  in  the  country 
than  any  of  us.  Speaking  of  Chinese  training.  Sir  John 
Davis  says— and  many  passages  of  similar  purport  may  be 
found  in  his  writings — :  "  The  most  commendable  feature 
of  their  system  is  the  general  diffusion  of  elementary  moral 

education  among  the  lower  orders It  is  in  the 

preference  of  moral  to  physical  instruction  that  even  we 
might  perhaps  wisely  take  a  leaf  out  of  the  Chinese  book 
and  do  something  to  reform  this  most  mechanical  age  of 
ours." 

In  fact  the  chief  reason  why  the  Chinese  have  made  so 
little  progress  in  the  physical  sciences  is    not  a  mental 


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M.  Hue's  OPINIONS  OF  THE  CHINESE.  73 

"incapacity,"  or  "tenuity  of  intellect,"  of  which  Mr.  Wade 
aocofles  them,  but  a  disregard  or  eyen  contempt  for  things 
material  as  opposed  to  things  intellectual  or  moral.  In  war, 
which  is  more  especially  a  fight  of  physicak  or  material 
forces,  they  paid  the  just  penalty  of  this  undc^  contempt 
when  they  became  involved  in  a  contest  withj  the  possessors 
of  the  highest  material  civilization  the  world  has  yet  seen: 
the  British  people. 


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74  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 


CHAPTER  VL 

HUNG  SEW  TSEUEN,  THE  ORIGINATOR  OP  THE  REBELLION, 
HIS  EARLY  BIOGRAPHY  AND  HIS  ADOPTION  OF  CHRIS- 
TIANITY. 

Having,  as  I  hope,  in  the  preceding  pages  thoroughly 
cleared  the  ground,  and  provided  against  many  misconcep- 
tions, which  I  know  to  be  standing,  I  trust  to  be  able  to 
convey,  in  a  comparatively  small  space,  a  clear  idea  of  the 
nature  and  progress  of  recent  insurrectionary  movements  in 
China.  I  do  not,  however,  believe  that  the  occidental  reader 
will  be  benefited  by  any  painful  enumeration  of  dates  and 
multifold  narrating  of  isolated  occurrences.  Such  chronicling 
is  not  efiective  political  knowledge,  but  merely  the  prepara- 
tion of  matter  from  which  such  knowledge  may  be  gene- 
ralised and  elicited.  This  preparatory  operation  I  have 
laboriously  performed  for  myself  on  all  the  data  at  command ; 
but  I  shall  in  the  following  pages  present  the  reader  with 
conclusions  rather  than  the  materials  for  original  investiga- 
tion, and  speak  authoritatively  rather  than  argumentatively. 
I  must  however  give  the  warning  that  those  who  have 
"skipped"  the  preceding  will  not  understand  what  follows, 
though  they  may  fancy  they  do  so. 

Hung  sew  tseuen,  the  originator  and  acknowledged  chief 
of  the  present  religious-political  insurrection  in  China,  is 
the  third  and  youngest  son  of  a  poor  peasant  proprietor. 
He  was  born  in  1813  in  a  small  village  of  the  Hwa  district, 
about  thirty  miles  north-east  of  Canton ;  where  his  father's 
few  fields  were  situated.     Having  early  exhibited  a  marked 


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HUNG  SEW   TSEUEN.  75 

capacity  for  study^  he  was  not  only  sent  to  school  at  the  age 
of  seven,  bat  his  relatives,  as  often  happens  in  China  when 
any  one  member  of  a  poor  fiunily  displays  unusual  aptitude 
for  learning,  so  exerted  themselves  as  to  keep  him  there, 
notwithstanding  their  poverty,  until  his  sixteenth  yean  He 
had  then  to  assist  for  some  months  in  the  labours  of  the 
farm,  more  especially  by  leading  his  father's  cattle  to  graze 
on  the  hills ;  which  are  generally  commons.  From  this  work, 
however,  his  relatives  and  friends  contrived  to  relieve  him 
by  establishing  him  as  a  schoolmaster  in  the  village ;  in  which 
capacity  he  found  time  to  pursue  his  literary  studies,  and 
also  to  attend  the  public  examinations.  Kwang  chow  foo, 
or  Canton  as  foreigners  call  it,  the  chief  city  of  the  province, 
being  at  the  same  time  the  chief  city  of  that  department  to 
which  the  Hwa  district  belongs,  the  higher  of  the  examina- 
tions for  the  degree  of  bachelor  were  conducted  there ;  and 
hence  it  was  several  times  visited  by  Hung  sew  tseuen,  after 
he  had  passed  the  lower  examination  at  the  district  city  with 
much  credit.  He  was,  however,  never  successful  at  the 
decisive  examination,  conducted  by  the  provincial  examiner.* 
On  the  occasion  of  one  of  his  visits  to  Canton,  probably  in 
1833,f  when  he  was  20  years  of  age,  he  appears  to  have 

*  This  circumstance  mnst  not  be  taken  as  necessarily  indicative  of  inferiority 
to  thoee  who  did  obtain  the  degree  of  bachelor.  The  examinations  are  com- 
petitire;  and  the  nombor  of  candidates,  being  ovt  c^  all  proportion  to  the 
limited  namber  of  bachelorships,  it  happens  that  very  many  are  rqjeoted,  in 
every  respect  equal  to  those  selected.  Where  the  examiners  can  see  no  real 
difference,  they  are  necessarily  guided  by  fancy  or  chance ;  and  thus  it  is  that 
eveiy  candidate  is  enabled  to  say,  as  the  unsuccessful  often  do  in  after  life,  that 
they  had  "  bad  luck"  or  "  ill  fate"— "puh  haou  ming." 

t  This  date  is  fixed  by  the  records  of  the  Protestant  missionaries  whoso 
convert,  Leang  a  fafa,  is  the  only  man  that  could  have  been  met  in  the  manner 
described.  The  date  Hung  jin  gave  to  Mr.  Hamberg  was  1836 ;  but  he  was 
narrating  in  1852  an  occurrence  that,  by  his  own  account,  took  place  about 
16  years  before;  and  was  moreover,  not  an  incident  in  his  own  life,  but  in 
that  of  a  relative  whom  he  had  then  not  seen  for  three  years.  A  discrepancy 
as  to  dates  was,  under  such  circumstances,  to  be  expected.  The  books  did  not 
attract  the  notice  of  Hung  sew  tseuen  till  1843,  when  he  himself  might  easily 
ful  to  recollect  during  which  of  his  visits,  some  six  or  eight  years  before,  he 
had  received  them  or  saw  the  strangely  dressed  man  who  could  not  speak 
Chinese. 


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76  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIK  EEBELLIONS. 

seen  a  foreign  Protestant  missionary  addressing  the  Chinese 
in  the  streets,  aided  hj  a  native  as  interpreter.  In  every 
case  he  received,  either  then  or  on  the  following  day,  from 
Leang  a  fah,  a  well  known  Protestant  convert  and  preacher 
(who  did  in  that  year  distribute  a  great  number  of  books)  a 
collection  of  tracts,  entitled  ^'Keuen  she  leang  yen.  Good 
words  for  exhorting  the  age."  These  consisted  of  essays  and 
sermons  by  Leang  a  fah  himself,  interspersed  with  Chapters 
from  the  Old  and  New  Testaments,  taken  from  Dr.  Morrison's 
translation.  Hung  sew  tseuen  took  the  books  home  with 
him,  and  after  a  superficial  glance  at  their  contents  placed 
them  in  his  book-case.  In  1837  after  another,  and  again 
unsuccessful,  competition  at  Canton,  he  was  seized  with  ill- 
ness and  was  carried  home  in  a  sedan,  deeply  disappointed 
and  not  less  sick  in  mind  than  in  body.  He  thought  he  was 
going  to  die;*  and  was  in  fact  very  unwell  for  some  forty 
days.  In  this  period  he  had  a  succession  of  vivid  dreams, 
and  in  particular  a  "vision"  during  what  appears  to  have 
been  a  trance  rather  than  a  sleep : 

'^  He  saw  a  dragon,  a  tiger,  and  a  cock  entering  his  room  ; 
and  soon  after  he  observed  a  great  number  of  men,  playing  on 
musical  instruments,  approaching  with  a  beautiful  sedan  chair, 
in  which,  having  invited  him  to  be  seated,  they  carried  him 
away .  •  .  •  They  soon  arrived  at  a  beautiful  and  luminous 
place,  where  on  both  sides  were  assembled  a  multitude  of  fine 
men  and  women,  who  saluted  him  with  expressions  of  great 
joy.  As  he  left  the  sedan,  an  old  woman  took  him  down  to  a 
river  and  said, — *  Thou  dirty  man,  why  hast  thou  kept  com- 
pany with  yonder  people  and  defiled  thyself?  I  must  now 
wash  thee  clean.*  After  the  washing  was  performed,  Hung 
sew  tseuen,  in  company  with  a  great  number  of  aged,  virtuous 
and  venerable  men,  among  whom  he  remarked  many  of  the 
ancient  sages,  entered  a  large  building  where  they  opened 
his  body  with  a  knife,  took  out  his  heart  and  other  parts, 

*  Some  candidates  die  fh)m  mental  and  physical  ezhaoation  and  over- 
anziety  at  eyery  triennial  examination,  when  shut  up  in  the  Examination  Hall. 


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HUNG  SEW  TSEUEN.  77 

putting  in  their  places  others,  new  and  of  a  red  colour.  When 
this  was  done  the  wound  instantly  closed,  and  he  could  see 
no  trace  of  the  incision  which  had  been  made  ....  After- 
wards they  entered  another  large  hall,  the  beauty  and  splen- 
dour of  which  were  beyond  description.  A  man,  venerable 
from  hid  years,  with  golden  beard,  and  dressed  in  a  black 
robe  was  sitting  in  an  imposing  attitude  in  the  highest  place. 
As  soon  as  he  observed  Hung  sew  tseuen,  he  began  to  shed 
tears,  and  said — '  All  human  beings  in  the  world  are  pro- 
duced and  sustained  by  me ;  they  eat  my  food  and  wear  my 
clothing,  but  not  a  single  one  among  them  has  a  heart  to 
remember  and  venerate  me;  what  is  however  still  worse, 
they  take  my  gifts,  and  therewith  worship  demons;  they 
rebel  against  me,  and  arouse  my  anger.  Do  thou  not  imitate 
them.'  Thereupon  he  gave  Hung  sew  tseuen  a  sword,  com- 
manding him  to  exterminate  the  demons,  but  to  spare  hia 
brothers  and  sisters ;  a  seal  by  which  he  would  overcome  the 
evil  spirits ;  and  a  yellow  fruit,  which  Hung  sew  tseuen  found 
sweet  to  the  taste.  When  he  had  received  the  ensigns  of 
royalty  from  the  hands  of  the  old  man,  he  instantly  began  to 
exhort  those  collected  in  the  hall  to  return  to  their  duties 
toward  the  venerable  old  man  on  the  high  seat.  Some  re- 
plied to  his  exhortations,  saying,  *  We  have  indeed  forgotten 
our  duties  toward  the  venerable.'  Others  said, — *Why 
should  we  venerate  him  ?  Let  us  only  be  merry,  and  drink 
together  with  our  friends.'  Hung  sew  tseuen  then,  because 
of  the  hardness  of  their  hearts,  continued  his  admonitions 
with  tears.  The  old  man  said  to  him,  ^  Take  courage,  and 
do  the  work,  I  will  assist  thee  in  every  difficulty.'  Shortly 
after  this  he  turned  to  the  assemblage  of  the  old  and  vir-i 
tuous  saying,  *  Hung  sew  tseuen  is  competent  to  this  charge ;' 
and  thereupon  he  led  Hung  sew  tseuen  out,  told  him  to  look 
down  from  above  and  said,  ^Behold  the  people  upon  this 
earth!  a  hundredfold  is  the  perverseness  of  their  hearts.' 
Hung  sew  tseuen  looked  and  saw  such  a  degree  of  depravity 
and  vice,  that  his  eyes  could  not  endure  the  sight  nor  his 


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78  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

mouth  express  their  deeds The  sickness  and 

visions  of  Hung  sew  tseuen  continued  about  forty  days,  and 
in  these  visions  he  often  saw  a  man  of  middle  age^  whom  he 
called  his  elder  brother,  who  instructed  him  how  to  act, 
accompanied  him  in  his  wanderings  to  the  uttennost  regions 
in  search  of  evil  spirits,  and  assisted  him  in  slaying  and 
exterminating  them." 

His  conduct  and  language  was  such  during  this  sickness 
that  he  was  held  to  be  mad  by  his  friends  and  acquaintances ; 
and  there  can  be  little  doubt  that  he  had  occasional  delirious 
fits,  if  he  was  not,  during  the  whole  period,  constantly  under 
the  influence  of  cerebral  over-excitement.  In  the  dreams 
and  visions  themselves  there  is  nothing  to  surprise  us.  They 
are  fully  accounted  for  by  the  generally  prevalent  Buddhistic- 
Confucian  notions  and  superstitions  modified  by  some  recol- 
lection of  the  xxi.  chapter  of  Kevelation;  which  is  one 
of  those  contained  in  Leang  a  fah*s  books,  and  which  we 
may  therefore  assume  him  to  have  cursorily  perused.  As  to 
the  statement  of  the  narrative,  that  "  He  often  said  he  was 
duly  appointed  Emperor  of  China  and  was  highly  gratified 
when  any  one  called  him  by  that  name," — ^I  may  observe  that, 
like  most  of  those  young  Chinese  who  are  well  read  in  the 
history  of  their  country,  he  may  have  indulged  in  specula- 
tions as  to  the  expulsion  of  the  Manchoos,  and,  in  his  day- 
dreams, imagined  himself  a  prime  agent  In  the  patriotic 
work.  Add  to  this,  that  Hung  sew  tseuen  had  just  failed  in 
attaining  that  degree,  through  which  alone  his  obviously 
aspiring  mind  could  hope  for  gratification  under  the  existing 
order  of  things.  It  is  stated,  that  after  his  recovery  "  he 
became  gradually  changed  in  both  character  and  appearance. 
He  was  careful  in  his  conduct,  friendly  and  open  in  his 
demeanour;  he  increased  in  height  and  bulk,  his  pace  became 
firm  and  imposing,  his  views  enlarged  and  liberal."  All  this, 
if  literally  true,  may  be  accounted  for  by  the  physical  change 
frequently  observed  in  young  men  after  severe  sickness ;  and 
still  more  by  the  chastening  and  purifying  effect,  on  the  mind 


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HUNG   SEW  TSEUEN.  79 

and  heart,  of  mental  diflappointment  and  bodily  affliction.  But 
after  recovery  he  qaietly  returned  to  his  former  employment, 
and  I  cannot  believe  that  the  deportment  of  a  poor  young 
village  Bchoolmaster  attracted  particular  attention;  while 
the  fact  of  his  again  attending  the  public  examinations 
shows  that  his  '^  visions  "  were,  at  this  time,  as  lightly  re- 
garded by  himself  as  by  the  acquaintances  to  whom  he, 
on  being  questioned,  related  them ;  and  who  thought  them 
curious  indeed,  but  of  no  importance. 

So  matters  continued  till  1843.  No  attention  was,  during 
this  period  of  six  years  paid  to  Leang  a  fah's  books.  Tho 
author,  a  sincere  convert  and  a  self-sacrificing  preacher,  was 
at  first  a  workman  in  a  missionary  printing  house,  who, 
having  had  little  previous  education,  formed  his  style  in  a 
great  measure  on  the  unidiomatic  biblical  translations  and 
theological  tracts  of  his  foreign  employers.  His  writings  are 
consequently  repulsive,  as  well  as  somewhat  unclear,  as  to 
manner;  while  the  subject  matter,  Christianity,  had  only 
been  heard  of  by  Hung  sew  tseuen,  then  still  a  constant 
student  and  teacher  of  the  Chinese  Sacred  Books,  as  one  of 
the  '^depraved''  or  ^' false"  superstitions  in  vogue  among 
western  barbarians.* 

These  latter  had  been  known  to  him  previous  to  1840  as 
expert  handicraftsmen,  who  had  a  reaUy  curious  knack  of 
making  fine  cotton  and  woollen  cloths,  watches  and  clocks, 
and  of  constructing  very  large  ships.  From  his  visits  to 
Canton,  he  knew,  too,  that  a  few  of  them  were  allowed  to 
live,  part  of  the  year,  as  traders  in  some  warehouses  fitted 
up  for  them  in  the  *^  Black  wall"  of  that  city;  but  always 
under  the  restrictions  necessary  for  people  to  whom  all 
(Confucian)  cultivation,  and  therefore  all  principles  of  self 

*  Let  the  English  Protestant  reflect  on  the  Book  of  the  Mormonp,  and  on 
Iformonism,  as  it  is  spreading  in  some  places  in  Great  Britain,  and  he  will 
ohtain  a  by  no  means  exaggerated  notion  of  the  contemptible  light  in  which 
our  (badly  translated)  Scriptures,  and  Christianity  in  China,  are  regarded  by  the 
.«JihOTX>iigh  Confucian;  viz.,  as  a  tissue  of  absurdities  and  impious  [heaTcn- 
opposing]  pretensions,  which  it  would  be  lost  time  to  examine. 


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80  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

restraint  were  unknown.  He  may  even  have  found  time 
to  walk  all  the  waj  down  to  that  quarter,*  and  watch  them 
for  a  while,  as  dressed  like  respectable  Chinese  in  clothes 
of  a  grave  mourning  color  (white)  but  ridiculously  tight, 
and  with  absurdly  shaped  black  cylinders  for  a  head  cover- 
ing, they  obeyed  the  dictates  of  their  restless  natures  by  an 
objectless  walking  back  and  forward  in  an  open  space  before 
their  dwellings.f 

But  after  1840  they  began  to  attract  some  attention  in 
the  vicinity  of  Canton,  by  a  turbulent  opposition  to  the  anti- 
opium  measures  of  the  imperial  government;  and  in  1841, 
and  the  beginning  of  1842,  they  acquired  a  totally  new 
character,  as  a  people  possessing  not  only  wonderful  fire- 
ships  and  other  irresistible  engines  of  war,  but,  if  no  other 
description  of  settled  government,  at  least  a  regular  military 
organization,  which  had  enabled  them  to  inflict  signal  de- 
feats on  the  hitherto  invincible  Manchoos,  and  to  dictate  to 
the  Imperial  Government  an  ignominious  peace.  This  be- 
came manifest  throughout  the  native  department  of  Hung 
sew  tseuen  in  the  summer  of  1843 ;  when  Ke  ying,  a  prince 
of  the  Imperial  house  was  seen  to  pay  friendly  visits  to  the 
foreign  leaders;  when  the  trade  was  resumed  at  Canton 
free  from  former  restrictions ;  and  when  the  publication  of 
the  Treaty  showed  that  four  other  great  marts  had  been 
thrown  open  in  the  northern  provinces.  It  is  not,  there- 
fore, surprising,  that  precisely  at  this  time,  Le,  a  friend  of 
Hung  sew  tseuen,  should  have  been  induced  to  study  the 
Christian  publications  he  found  in  Hung's  book  case ;  nor 
that  the  latter  should  afterwards  read  them  ^^  closely  and. 
carefully." 

''He  was  greatly  astonished  to  find  in  these  books  the 
key  to  his  own  visions,  which  he  had  had  during  his  sickness, 

*  Ab  a  poor  Bindent  of  the  London  Uniyenity  may  have  been  able  to  spare 
time  to  wfdk  down  to  Blackwall  to  bare  a  look  at  the  Chinese  junk. 

f  Our  taking  exercise,  which  even  now  attracts  gazers  from  the  inner 
districts. 


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HUNG  SEW  TSEUEN  ADOPTS  CHRISTIANITY.  81 

six  years  before ;  he  found  their  contents  to  correspond  in 
a  remarkable  manner  with  what  he  had  seen  and  heard  at 
that  time.  He  now  understood  the  venerable  old  man  who 
sat  upon  the  highest  place,  and  whom  all  men  ought  to 
worship,  to  be  God,  the  heavenly  Father;  and  the  man 
of  middle  age,  who  had  instructed  him,  and  assisted  him  in 
exterminating  the  demons,  to  be  Jesus,  the  Saviour  of  the 
world.  The  demons  were  the  idols,  his  brothers  and  sisters 
were  the  people  in  the  world.  Hung  sew  tseuen  felt  as  if 
awaking  from  a  long  dream.  He  rejoiced  to  have  found  in 
reality  a  way  to  heaven,  and  sure  hope  of  everlasting  life 
and  happiness."  He  and  his  friend  Le  were  converted; 
administered  baptism  to  themselves,  as  they  understood  the 
rite  from  the  books ;  and  then  immediately  commenced 
preaching  to  others,  in  imitation  of  Leang  a  fah ;  an  account 
of  whose  conversion  and  labours  they  found  in  the  books. 

But  Hung  sew  tseuen  at  once  took  a  much  higher  stand. 
He  found  the  contents  of  the  books  **  to  correspond,  in  a 
striking  manner  with  his  former  visions ;  and  this  remark- 
able coincidence  convinced  him  fully  of  their  truth,  and  of 
his  being  appointed  by  God  to  restore  the  world,  that  is, 
China,  to  the  worship  of  the  true  God.'*  "  These  books," 
said  he,  *'  are  certainly  sent  purposely  by  heaven  to  me  to 
confirm  the  truth  of  my  former  experiences.''  And  **  under 
this  conviction  he,  when  preaching  the  new  doctrine  to  others, 
made  use  of  his  own  visions  and  the  books  as  reciprocally 
evidencing  the  truth  of  each  other." 

I  need  scarcely  observe  that  when  Hung  said  "  sent  from 
heaven,"  it  did  not  enter  into  his  imagination  to  ignore  the 
fact  that  they  were  transmitted  to  him  through  human  agency. 
But  he  had,  in  the  lapse  of  years,  totally  forgotten  his  first 
cursory  glance  at  the  books;  and  there  is  something  so 
flattering  to  human  feelings  in  the  idea  of  being  selected  by 
Heaven  as  its  special  instrument,  that  his  mind  w^ould  in- 
stinctively shrink  from  reviving  recollections  that  tended  to 
dispel  an  illusion  so  grateful.     The  Books  showed  him  that 


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82  THE  CUINE8E  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

the  foreignere  {he  ceased  to  call  them  barbarians)  whose 
power  in  war  had  just  humbled  the  sovereign  of  China,  were 
steadfast  worshippers  of  the  God  of  its  antiquity,  Shang  te; 
whom  the  first  monarch  of  the  glorious  old  Chow  dynasty 
had  solemnly,  and  thankfully,  adored  on  attaining  possession 
of  the  throne.  He  read  that  this,  the  only  True  God,  whom 
the  Chinese  had  long  neglected  for  false  gods,  had  after 
'*  creating  the  first  man  and  woman  in  his  own  image ''  more 
than  once  talked  to  them ;  had  **  walked  in  the  garden  in  the 
cool  of  the  day ; "  that  he  had  ^*  made  them  coats  of  skins 
and  clothed  them ;  '*  and  that  he  had  expelled  them  from 
the  garden  lest  they  should  eat  of  a  certain  fruit  ''and  live 
for  ever/'  as  they  had  already  eaten  of  one  kind  of  fruit 
and  thus  become  able  **  to  know  good  and  evil.''  The  awful 
conviction  now  fell  on  his  mind,  that  his  spirit  had  been 
summoned  into  the  presence  of  this  very  God^  had  from  Him 
in  person  received  a  fruit  to  eat,  together  with  a  seal  and 
a  sword  with  which  to  exterminate  demons  in  the  spiritual 
world ;  and  had  been,  at  the  same  time,  charged  with  the 
special  mission  of  reforming  the  depraved  worshippers  of 
these  demons  ''  among  the  peoples  of  this  earth." 

This  conviction  of  a  divine  mission,  at  once  readily  accepted 
by  one  of  his  aspiring  character  then  suffering  from  disap- 
pointed hopes  in  a  different  career,  was  not  likely  to  be 
weakened  by  further  study  of  the  books.  In  estimating  the 
relative  amounts  of  disinterested,  sober  reasoning,  and  of 
tacit  self  deceit  that  were  engaged  in  leading  him  to  look  on 
his  Tisions  as  scenes  of  real,  though  spiritual,  occurrences,  we 
must  particularly  bear  in  mind  that  he  read  in  the  books,  St. 
Paul's  account  of  the  incidents,  in  Acts  xxii.,  attendant  on 
his  conversion,  when  about  noon  ''  a  great  light  shone  about" 
him,  and  he  '*  fell  to  the  ground,  and  heard  a  voice  **  the 
voice  of  "the  Lord"  who  addressed  him,  and  to  whom 
he  replied,  while  *^  those  that  were  with  "  him,  "  saw  the 
light  indeed,"  but  "  heard  not  the  voice  of  him  that  spake." 
Further^  an  enthusiast  for  what  was  good,  he  found  in  the 


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HUKG  SEW  TSEUEN  ADOPTS  CHRISTIANITT.  83 

Sermon  from  the  Mount  the  strictest  morality  and  highest 
goodness  that  had  ever  been  inculcated  hj  Confucius ;  im- 
pressionable for  what  was  greats  he  found,  in  the  chapters 
taken  from  the  Psalmists  and  Prophets,  descriptions  of  the 
grandeur  and  might  of  a  One  True  God,  the  sublimity  of 
which  could  not  be  altogether  destroyed  even  by  very  imper- 
fect translation ;  and  of  which  nothing  whatever  is  found  in 
the  writings  of  Confucius  or  his  followers.  Lastly,  as  a 
Chinese,  with  that  mental  tendency  towards  ultimate  unity, 
which  is  a  marked  characteristic  of  the  nati(m,  his  intellectual 
nature  found  satisfaction  in  the  absolute  unity  of  the  Hebrew 
Jehovah,  **  the  Lord  besides  whom  there  is  no  God,"  ^'  the 
Holy  One/'  the  «  Mighty  One/' 


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84  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 


CHAPTER  VII. 

HUNG   SEW    TSEUEN'S  ESTABLISHMENT   OP     A    NEW   SECTT    OP 
CHRISTIANS  IN  KWANGSE,  AND  CAUSES  OF  HIS  SUCCESS. 

Hung  sew  tseuen's  first  converts  were  men  who  like 
himself  acted  as  village  schoolmasters.  The  most  important 
of  these  for  future  events  was  Fung  yun  san.  His  next 
converts  were  his  own  parents  and  brothers  and  their  wives, 
all  of  whom,  with  their  children,  received  baptism.  "Of 
his  other  relatives  several  sincerely  believed,  others  were 
convinced  of  the  truth,  but  feared  the  mockery  of  the 
people.  Some  said  '  Such  mad  and  foolish  things  ought 
not  to  be  believed ; '  others  had  to  suffer  rebuke  from  their 
own  parents  because  of  their  faith.** 

The  chief  mark  of  true  conversion  was  the  renunciation 
of  idolatry  generally,  and  the  withholding  of  the  distinctive 
honours  paid  to  the  tablet  of  Confucius.  Hung  sew  tseuen 
and  Fung  yun  san  having  removed  this  tablet  from  their 
schoolrooms,  found  themselves  in  a  few  months  deserted  by 
their  pupils ;  and,  being  very  poor,  resolved  to  travel  to  another 
province  as  preachers,  trusting  to  support  themselves  on  their 
journeyings  by  selling  ink  and  writing  brushes.  In  this  they 
were  iDfluenced  by  the  words  "  A  prophet  is  not  without 
honor  save  in  his  own  country  and  his  own  house;"  and 
by  the  notices  of  St.  Paul's  travels  contained  in  the  xix. 
chapter  of  the  Acts,  given  in  Leang  a  fah's  books.  Accord- 
ingly in  t]ie  beginning  of  1844  they  left  for  Kwang  se,  and, 
after  making  a  few  converts  at  various  places  on  the  way, 
entered  about  May  the  territory  of  the  aboriginal  moun- 


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HUNG  SEW  TSEUEN's  NEW  SECT  OF  CHRISTIANS.  85" 

taineen;  among  whom  they  had,  at  starting,  proposed  to 
propagate  the  new  faith.  But  knowing  nothing  of  their 
language  (the  Gaelic  of  China)  they  wandered  helplessly 
among  the  hills  for  four  days  till  they  fell  in  with  a  Chinese 
named  Keang  settled  there  as  a  teacher  of  his  own  language. 
He  entertained  them  hospitably  and  professed  belief  in  their 
doctrines.  Finding  it  impossible  to  act  directly  on  the 
moimtaineers.  Hung  sew  tseuen  and  Fung  yun  san  left  a  few 
tracts  with  Keang  for  distribution  to  such  as  had  learned  the 
Chinese  language  and  then  set  out  in  search  of  Wang^  a 
relative  of  the  former,  whose  house  they  reached  about  the 
month  of  June,  at  "  Valley  Home"  in  the  Kwei  district,  in 
the  south  of  the  Kwang  se  province.  They  remained  here 
for  five  months,  during  which  they  made  upwards  of  a 
hundred  converts.  Fearing  to  become  burthensome  on  Hung 
sew  tseuen's  relative,  Fung  yun  san  left  with  the  intention 
of  returning  home ;  but  meeting,  before  he  had  proceeded 
two  or  three  days  on  his  journey,  with  some  workmen  he 
knew,  his  desire  to  propagate  his  new  faith  induced  him  to 
accompany  them  to  "  Thistle  mount "  in  the  Kwei  ping  dis- 
trict (department  of  Tsin  chow)  where  he  assisted  them  in 
their  occupation  of  carrying  earth.  Ten  of  them  soon  be- 
came his  converts ;  and  having  introduced  him  to  the  notice 
of  their  employer,  the  latter  engaged  him  as  a  teacher,  and 
was  shortly  after  himself  baptized.  Fung  jun  san  was  thus 
enabled  to  remun  several  years  in  the  neighbourhood,  preach- 
ing with  great  zeal  and  such  success  that  whole  families  of 
Tarious  surnames  and  clans  were  baptized,  formed  congre- 
gations among  themselves  and  became  extensively  known 
under  the  name  of  the  "  Society  of  God- worshippers."  It 
was  this  society  which  subsequently  formed  the  strength  of 
the  religious  political  rebellion  that  now  shakes  the  Imperial 
Throne;  though  in  its  founder,  the  earth  carrier,  Fung 
yun  san,  I  believe  we  have  at  once  the  most  zealous  and 
most  disinterested  preacher  of  the  new  faith  in  its  soberest 
form. 


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86  THE  CHINESE  AND   THEIR   BEBELLIONS. 

A  month  after  the  departure  of  Fung  yun  Ban,  Hung  sew 
tseuen  also  left  for  his  native  district  in  Kwang  tung,  on 
reaching  which  he  was  surprised  to  find  the  former  had  not 
returned.  Mr.  Hamberg's  book  says  that  Hung  sew  tseuen 
was  called  to  account  by  the  mother  and  wife  of  the  friend 
he  had  taken  "on  so  perilous  a  journey,"  they  being  "highly 
displeased  at  his  return  without  him  and  without  any  know* 
ledge  of  his  present  circumstances."  This  is  one  of  the 
many  incidental  proofs  of  the  truthfulness  of  Mr.  Hamberg's 
informant.  The  distance  from  the  home  of  Fung  yun  san, 
in  the  Hwa  district,  to  the  scene  of  his  labours,  in  the  Kwei 
ping  district,  is  but  200  miles  in  a  straight  line,  and  probably 
not  over  300  by  road.  But  to  a  poor  traveller  the  distance 
in  time  is  fully  20  days ;  while  the  remoteness,  as  to  means 
of  communication  by  writing,  is  something  of  which  the 
English  reader  can  form  to  himself  no  conception,  even 
by  going  back  to  the  days  of  our  first  horse  posts.  In 
China  the  government  posts  carry  ofi&cial  despatches  only. 
Private  posts  (resembling  our  country  parcel  carriers) 
do  exist,  but  only  along  great  highways  or  between  very 
large  dties.  As  for  letters  from  one  out  of  the  way  village 
in  an  out  of  the  way  district,  to  a  similar  locality  300  miles 
off,  they  can  only  be  sent  when  some  inhabitant  of  the  one 
place  happens  to  go  to  the  other.  Accordingly  we  find  that 
Fung  yun  san's  family  do  not  appear  to  have  heard  of  him 
again  till  he  himself  returned  in  1848,  after  some  four  and 
a  half  years'  absence* 

In  the  mean  time  Hung  sew  tseuen  remiuned  in  Kwang 
tung,  preaching  and  writing  essays,  discourses  and  odes  on 
religious  subjects.  During  1845  and  1846  his  native  district 
was  the  scene  of  his  labours.  About  the  end  of  1846  he 
learned  from  a  person  connected  with  the  establishment  of 
Mr.  Roberts,  an  American  missionary  at  Canton,  that  the 
latter  was  preaching  there.  That  foreign  missionaries  were 
.  preaching  in  Canton  must  however  have  been  known  to  him 
before*     It  is  a  fact  of  considerable  significance,  that  he  had 


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HUNG  SEW  TBEUEN's  NEW  SECT  OP  CHRISTIANS.  87 

not  previouftly,  nor  did  still  now,  attempt  to  put  himself 
into  communication  with  them.  In  April  1847,  however^  an 
event  took  place  that  drew  the  attention  of  the  whole  depart- 
ment and  even  the  whole  province  on  foreigners.  The 
British  Plenipotentiary  Sir  John  Davis,  suddenly  left  Hong 
Kong  with  a  small  naval  and  military  force,  entered  the 
river,  took  all  the  forts  which  guard  it,  and,  after  spiking 
827  pieces  of  artillery,  established  himself  in  military  occu- 
pation of  the  foreign  settlement  at  the  provincial  capital. 
One  of  his  objects  was  to  insist  on  the  immediate  possession 
of  land  as  a  site  for  warehouses  to  which  we  were  entitled 
by  treaty,  but  which  we  had  never  received.  An  erroneous 
notion  of  the  nature  of  this  demand  getting  abroad,  the 
rural  population  not  only  in  the  immediate  neighbourhood 
of  Canton,  but  up  to  the  borders  of  Hung  sew  tseuen's 
district,  formed  themselves  into  bands  of  volunteers  to  resist 
what  they  held  to  be  a  step  in  the  prosecution  of  a  design  to 
seize  their  country.  This  drew  general  attention  as  well  to 
the  plans  of  foreigners,  as  to  the  apparent  inability  of  the 
Mandioo  Government  to  resist  people  entertaining  such  plans. 
Within  a  month  or  six  weeks  afterwards  we  find  Hung  sew 
tseuen  studying  the  foreign  Scriptures  at  Mr.  Roberts's  esta- 
blishment; and  it  would  appear  that  from  this  period  the  idea 
occasionally  crossed  his  mind  in  a  vague  way  that  the  patriotic 
day  dreams  of  his  youth  might  possibly  have  a  chance  of  reali- 
zation. But  he  must  have  been  silly  to  a  degree  altogether 
disproved  by  his  subsequent  proceedings  and  career,  had  he  then 
allowed  himself  to  indulge  in  a  distinct  intention  of  trying  to 
overturn  the  existing  government.  So  far  from  this  being 
the  case,  we  find  that  he,  after  a  two  months'  study  with  Mr. 
Boberts,  appears  to  have  inclined  to  the  belief  that  it  was  as 
a  preacher  under  the  direction  of  foreigners  that  he  was  to 
prosecute  his  ^'  mission**  of  religious  reformer.  He  applied 
for  baptism,  and  prompted  by  the  insidious  advice  of  a  coun- 
tryman on  the  establishment  who  feared  him  as  a  rival,  also 
for  a  monthly  support.     The  latter  request  naturally  drew  a 


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88  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

refusal  of  the  former  from  Mr.  Roberts ;  who  had  observed 
nothing  in  the  applicant  to  distinguish  him  from  other  men 
of  the  class.  Hung  sew  tseuen  then  lefl  for  Kwang  se,  and 
it  is  worthy  of  note,  as  exemplifying  the  manner  in  which 
circumstances  aiFecting  individuals  may  influence  religious 
institutions,  that  in  the  religious  publications  of  the  rebels 
obtained  from  them  at  Nanking  six  y6ars  after  this,  new  con- 
verts are  taught  how  to  baptize  themselves.* 

On  reaching  the  house  of  his  relative  Wang,  in  the  Kwei 
district.  Hung  sew  tseuen  learned  of  the  society  of  God- 
worshippers  established  in  the  Kwei  ping  district  by  Fung 
ynn  san,  whom  he  immediately  joined  at  that  place.  The 
congregation  soon  amounted  to  upwards  of  two  thousand  in  the 
Kwei  ping  district ;  from  whence  the  new  faith  rapidly  spread 
in  the  neighbouring  districts  of  Ping  nan.  Woo  seuen,  Seang, 
Kwei,  Poh  pih,  &c.,  and  in  the  adjoining  department  of 
Woo  chow.  Graduates  of  the  first  and  second  degree 
(bachelors  and  licentiates)  as  well  as  men  of  influence,  either 
from  their  wealth,  or  their  position  as  acknowledged  heads 
of  families,  were  among  the  number  of  converts.f  Though 
Fung  yun  san  was  the  founder  of  the  society  of  God- 
worshippers,  Hung  sew  tseuen 's  superiority  was  acknow- 
ledged by  all.  The  belief  in  his  divine  mission,  now  con- 
firmed to  himself  by  prospects  of  success,  naturally  caused 
him  to  assume  a  tone  of  authority  which  was  supported  by 
his  greater  knowledge  of  the  Scriptures,  acquired  at  Canton; 

*  It  is  at  the  same  time  a  proof  of  the  superioritj  of  Hung  sev  tsenen's 
nature,  that  he  seems  to  have  fully  recognised  the  reaaonahlenessy  on  Mr. 
Roberts'  part,  of  the  really  unfounded  suspicions  with  which  his  pecuniary 
demand  had  been  regarded ;  and  retained  in  his  mind  only  a  grateful  sense  of 
the  treatment  and  instruction  received.  For  at  Nanking  the  most  actiye  of  the 
more  military  leaders,  the  northern  Prince,  who  had  nerer  seen  any  foreigner 
till  I  found  him  there,  spoke  to  me  about  Mr.  Boberts  with  much  interest  and 
respect  merely  in  consequence  of  the  account  which  had  been  given  of  him  by 
the  then  "  Heavenly  Prince,"  Hung  sew  tseuen. 

t  At  this  period  we  find  already  the  names  of  Tang  sew  tsing,  Seaou  chaou 
hwuy,  Wei  ching,  and  Shih  ta  kae  the  men  who  are  now  with  Hung  sew  tseuen 
and  Fang  yun  san  the  leaders  of  the  insurgents  under  the  title  of  "  Princes." 


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HUNG  SEW  TSEUEN^S  NEW  SECT  OP  CHRISTIANS.  89 

and  bj  the  fact  that  he  was  the  original  converter  of  Fung 
yun  san  himself.  Hence  he  was  better  able  to  introduce  a 
rigid  discipline  among  the  variety  of  people  who  joined  the 
congregations.  Let  us  now  endeavour  to  arrive  at  some  idea 
of  the  causes  which  led  to  the  rapid  rise  and  increase  of  these. 
That  religious  movements  are  indebted  for  their  ultimate 
success  mainly  to  the  mental  perception  and  appreciation,  on 
the  part  of  conformers,  of  better  beliefs  and  stricter  practice, 
need  not  be  insisted  on.  This  is  the  case  whether  we  speak 
of  the  acceptance  of  new  doctrines — of  conversion  proper — 
or  of  the  substitution  of  a  living,  spiritual  acceptance  and 
practice,  for  a  merely  intellectual  submission  or  formal  obser- 
vance ;  which  is  called  "  a  revival "  when  we  speak  of  com- 
munities, and  *-*  getting  religious  ^^  when  an  individual  is  the 
subject  alluded  to.  But  I  think  it  not  uninstructive  to  bear 
in  mind  here  that  the  origination,  if  not  ultimate  triumph  of 
religious  movements,  whether  conversions  or  revivals,  rests 
largely  on  the  merely  sympathetic  aflfections.  A  cheerfully 
disposed  man  steps  suddenly  into  the  company  of  people  all 
for  the  moment  either  sad  or  grave.  They  say  not  a  word 
to  him  of  the  cause ;  they  do  not  even  tell  him  that  they  are 
sad  or  grave,  and  the  only  indication  he  has  of  their  mental 
state  is  the  very  imperfect  one  afforded  by  the  expression  of 
their  faces  and  their  attitudes,  by  the  purely  physical  positions 
of  their  features  and  limbs.  Nevertheless  the  spirit  of  sad- 
ness or  of  gravity  communicates  itself  to  him,  and  he  too 
becomes  sad  or  grave.  So  also  when  the  indication  of  the 
mental  state  of  others,  is  conveyed  by  the  ear  alone ;  as  when 
a  person  hears  one  or  two  others  in  an  adjoining  room  laugh 
heartily.  He  immediately  joins  without  having  the  least  notion 
of  the  original  cause  of  the  laughter.  Nay  more,  the  sympa- 
thetic faculty  is  brought  into  operation  without  any  objective 
reality  as  a  cause.  Let  the  reader  imagine  himself  in  the 
position  just  described,  and  he  will  be  seized  with  the  spirit 
of  merriment.  Human  beings  are,  in  short,  prone  to  be 
aiFected  by  any  emotion  which  they  think  they  perceive  in 


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90  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

others,  which  they  really  do  perceive  in  others,  or  which  they 
merely  picture  to  their  minds  as  existing  in  imaginary  per- 
sons. This  holds,  of  course,  not  less  of  the  religious  feelings 
or  afiections  than  of  others ;  which  accounts  for  the  temporary 
success  of  even  those  religious  movements  that  are,  both 
intellectually  and  morally,  decidedly  of  a  retrograde  or  down- 
ward character,  as  compared  with  the  state  of  the  general 
society  in  which  they  appear.  It  is  thus  that  the  existence 
of  Johanm^Southcotians  and  Mormons,  and  of  sects  still 
more  intellectually  absurd  and  more  morally  vicious,  be- 
come at  all  explicable  to  the  wondering  beholder.  It  only 
requires  that  a  man,  sufficiently  '^  half-cracked, "  and  grossly 
enough  the  victim  of  immoral  self-delusion,  to  preach  absurd 
and  vicious  doctrines  with  the  full  force  of  strong,  unhesi- 
tating conviction,  should  so  preach ;  and  you  immediately  have 
a  sect,  whose  principles  and  practice  are  more  or  less  revolting 
to  the  then  and  there  commonly  held  idea  of  what  is  true  and 
good.  In  the  course  of  my  official  life  I  have  been  con- 
strained, and  in  private  life  have  been  induced  to  consider, 
one  or  two  rather  striking  and  well  developed  cases  of  this 
kind;  and  the  effect  of  this  personal  observation  on  the  know* 
ledge  derived  from  reading  has  led  to  the  conclusion  that  the 
number  of  deliberate  impostors — of  self-confessed  impostors — 
is  far  rarer  than  we  might  at  first  sight  be  inclined  to  suppose. 
We  cannot  rightly  understand  past  history,  or  present  occur- 
rences in  the  world,  unless  we  assume  as  a  fundamental  prin- 
ciple that  all  those  who  have  exercised  a  marked  influence  on 
their  fellow  creatures,  or  done  great  things  in  the  world,  have 
fully  believed  themselves  to  be  midnly,  if  not  altogether,  in  the 
right.  The  same  holds  of  those  who,  possessing  the  power, 
have  used  it  to  effect  certain  ends  at  the  cost  of  an  enormous 
amount  of  misery  to  humanity. 

Now  if  earnest  preaching,  founded  on  strong  conviction, 
acts  so  powerfully  as  to  propagate  systems  partially  irrational 
and  immoral,  what  must  be  its  effect  when  it  inculcates  great 
truths  and  strict  moral  purity,   and  when  man's  religious 


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HUNG  SEW  TSEUEN'S  NEW  SECT  OP  CHRISTIANS.  91 

aspirations    are  satbfied  and  his  reason   and  moral  sense 
powerfully  appealed  to  as  well  as  liis  sympathetic  faculty 
acted  on  ?     All  this  was  the  case  in  the  preaching  of  Fung 
yun  san  and  Hung  sew  tseuen.     Certain   living  and   still 
working  writers  having  described  the  Chinese  as  altogether 
bad — as  "  infinitely  vicious,"  I  have  had  to  dwell  with  con- 
siderable emphasis  on  the  fact  that  no  small  amount  of  the 
higher  and  better  qualities  are  manifested  among  that  people. 
I  have  indeed  deemed  it  necessary  to  oppose  the  erroneous 
descriptions  of  others  with  so  much  emphasis  that  I  almost 
fear,  I  may  have  conveyed  to  the  reader,  who  has  not  been 
particularly  attentive  to  my  words,  the  impression  that  the 
state  of  society  in  China  is  morally  higher  than  that  of 
England.     I  must  therefore  repeat  what  I  have  said  above 
that  ^*  I  assert  myself  as  the  result  of  a  long  independent 
study  and  close  observation  that  the   great   mass   of  the 
Chinese  are  most  certainly   'sunk  in   material   interests,' 
'  pursuing  with  ardour  only  wealth  and  material  enjoyments.' " 
Were  I  suddenly  compelled  to  trust,  where  there  was  no 
check,  to  the  courage,  honesty,  and  purity  of  fifty  people, 
taken  at  random  from  any  nation,  I  certainly  would  select 
Chinese  in  preference  to  some  Occidental  nations  I  could 
name.     But  I  would  not  hesitate  for  a  moment  about  pre- 
ferring Englishmen  to  Chinese.     The  difference  is  undoubt- 
edly not  so  great  as  certain  unqualified  assertions  make  it ; 
and  cannot  indeed  be  called  great  at  all.     Still  the  Chinese 
are  I  hold  morally  lower  than  ourselves ;  and  the  people  of 
Kwang  se  would  appear  to  have  been   considered   more 
vicious  than  those  of  other  Chinese  provinces.     A  stupid 
idolatry  prevailed,  and  this  degeneration  of  the  intellectual 
faculty,  this  irrationality  was  accompamed  by  that  ^^vice" 
which  appears  to  be  ever  inseparable  from  ignorance. 

There  were  some  important  circumstances  connected  with 
the  preaching  of  the  new  faith  in  Kwang  se  which  might 
not  be  perceived  by  the  mere  English  reader.  These  readers 
will  however  when  told,  at  once  perceive  that  the  Acts  of 
the  Apostles  and  the  Epistles  of  the  New  Testament,  as  a 


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92  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

record  of  the  What  was  preached,  and  the  how  that  What  was 
preached  among  the  idol  worshipping  subjects  of  the  centrally 
ruled  Boman  empire,  must  have  among  the  idol  worshipping 
and  centrally  ruled  subjects  of  the  Chinese  Emperor  a  prac- 
tical applicability,  a  freshness,  and  a  living  force  of  which 
Englishmen  can  form  no  conception  who  never  saw  idols 
worshipped  in  their  lives,  much  less  have  themselves  reve- 
renced them ;  who  live  under  institutions  that  have  a  much 
less  resemblance  to  those  of  Imperial  Rome ;  and  who  have, 
besides,  in  their  childhood,  over  and  over  and  over  again  read 
the  Testament,  and  heard  it  read,  before  their  intellect  or 
historical  knowledge  enabled  them  to  understand  it,  until 
large  portions  have  no  more  living  meaning  for  them  than  the 
beating  of  a  drum  or  the  tolling  of  a  bell.  To  illustrate  this 
latter  position,  I  beg  the  reader  to  take  from  the  Creed  the 
expression  "the  communion  of  saints."  How  many  of  the 
hundreds  of  thousands  who  have  repeated,  every  Sunday 
from  youth  up,  that  "  they  believe "  in  this  have  anything 
but  a  very  vague  notion  of  what  a  ^'  saint "  is  ?  And  how 
many  have  a  shadow  of  a  notion  what  the  "communion"  of 
these  "  saints  "  may  be  ?  Occidental  missionaries  in  China  are 
naturally  apt  to  fall,  in  their  preaching,  into  the  mechanical 
use  of  this  dead  phraseology,  to  which  they  have  from 
earliest  youth  been  accustomed.  Not  so  Milne's  and  Mor- 
rison's convert,  the  Chinese  Leang  a  fah— still  less  Hung 
sew  tseuen,  who  preached  for  years  before  having  any  com- 
munication with  foreigners.  If  we  examine  Leang  a  fah's 
collection  of  pamphlets,  we  find  he  deals  only  with  subjects 
of  the  highest  interest,  and  above  all  of  living  interest  to  him- 
self and  compatriots ;  the  creation  of  the  universe,  the  great 
moral  rules  of  the  Sermon  on  the  Mount,  and  the  missionary 
proceedings  and  writings  of  St.  Paul.  Take,  for  instance, 
the  xix.  chapter  of  Acts.*  Where  St.  Paul,  wandered  about 
preaching  .in  Asia  Minor  and  in  Greece  he  found  a  pan- 

*  "  And  it  came  to  pass,  that  while  ApoUos  was  at  Corinth,  Paal  having: 
passed  through  the  upper  coasts  came  to  Ephesus;  and  finding  certain  disciples 
he  said  unto  them,  Have  ye  received  the  Holy  Ghost  since  ye  believed  9  And 
they  Baid  unto  him,  We  have  not  so  much  as  heard  whether  there  be  any  Holy 


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HUNG  SEW  TSEUEN'S  NEW  SECT  OF  CHRISTIANS.  93 

theistic  learned  classj  together  with  idol  worshipping  lower 
classes  given  to  gross  superstitions  and  immoralities.  Now 
this  is  verbally  true  of  what  Leang  a  fah  and  Hung  sew 
taeuen  found  in  Kwaug  tung  and  Kwang  se.      Again   as 

UbosL  And  he  said  unto  them.  Unto  what  then  were  ye  baptized  1  And  they 
nid.  Unto  John's  baptism.  Then  said  Paul,  John  verily  baptized  with  the 
baptism  of  repentance,  saying  unto  the  people,  that  they  should  believe  on  him 
whieh  should  come  after  him,  that  is,  on  Christ  Jesus.  When  they  heard  this, 
they  were  baptized  in  the  name  of  the  Lord  Jesus.  And  when  Paul  had  laid 
hia  hands  upon  them,  the  Holy  Qhost  came  on  them ;  and  they  spake  with 
tongues  and  prophesied.  And  all  the  men  were  about  twelve.  And  he  went 
into  the  synagogue,  and  spake  boldly  for  the  space  of  three  months,  disputing 
and  persuading  the  things  concerning  the  kingdom  of  God.  But  when  divers 
were  hardened,  and  believed  not,  but  spake  evil  of  that  way  before  the  multi- 
tude, he  departed  from  them,  and  separated  the  disciples,  disputing  daily  in  the 
school  of  one  Tyrannus.  And  this  continued  by  the  space  of  two  years ;  so  that 
all  they  whieh  dwelt  in  Asia  heard  the  word  of  the  Lord  Jesus,  both  Jews  and 
Greeks.  And  God  wrought  special  miracles  by  the  hands  of  Paul :  so  that 
from  hia  body  were  brought  unto  the  sick  handkerchiefs  or  aprons,  and  the 
diseases  departed  from  them,  and  the  evil  spirits  went  out  of  them. 

"  Then  certain  of  the  vagabond  Jews,  exorcists,  took  upon  them  to  call  over 
them  which  had  evil  spirits  the  name  of  the  Lord  Jesus,  saying,  We  adjure  you 
by  Jesus  whom  Paul  preacheth.  And  there  were  seven  sons  of  one  Sceva,  a 
Jew,  and  chief  of  the  priests,  which  did  so.  And  the  evil  spirit  answered  and 
said,  Jesus  I  know,  and  Paul  I  know,  but  who  are  yel  And  the  man  in  whom 
the  evil  spirit  was  leaped  on  them,  and  overcame  them,  and  prevailed  against 
them,  so  that  they  fled  out  of  that  house  naked  and  wounded.  And  this  was 
known  to  all  the  Jews  and  Greeks  also  dwelling  at  Ephesus;  and  fear  fell  on 
them  all,  and  the  name  of  the  Lord  Jesus  was  magnified.  And  many  that 
believed  came,  and  confessed,  and  shewed  their  deeds.  Many  of  them  also  which 
used  curious  arts  brought  their  books  together,  and  burned  them  before  all  men : 
and  they  counted  the  price  of  them,  and  found  it  fifty  thousand  pieces  of 
silver.    So  mightily  grew  the  word  of  God  and  prevailed. 

*' After  these  things  were  ended,  Paul  purposed  in  the  spirit,  when  he  had 
passed  through  Macedonia  and  Achaia,  to  go  to  Jerusalem,  saying,  After  I  have 
been  there,  I  must  also  see  Bome.  So  he  sent  into  Macedonia  two  of  them  that 
ministered  unto  him,  Timotheus  and  Erastus ;  but  he  himself  stayed  in  Asia 
for  a  season.  And  the  same  time  there  arose  no  small  stir  about  that  way. 
For  a  certain  man  named  Demetrius,  a  silversmith,  which  made  silver  shrines 
for  Diana,  brought  no  small  gain  unto  the  craftsmen ;  whom  he  called  together 
with  the  workmen  of  like  occupation,  and  said,  Sirs,  ye  know  that  by  this  craft 
we  have  our  wealth.  Moreover  ye  see  and  hear,  that  not  only  at  Ephesus,  but 
almost  throughout  all  Asia,  this  Paul  hath  persuaded  and  turned  away  much 
people,  saying  that  they  be  no  gods  which  are  made  with  hands :  so  that  not 
only  this  our  craft  is  in  danger  to  be  set  at  naught,  but  also  that  the  temple 
of  Uie  great  goddess  Diana  should  be  despised,  and  her  magnificence  should  be 
destroyed,  whom  all  Asia  and  the  world  worshippeth.    And  when  they  heard 


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94  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

Ephesus  had  its  Diana,*  so  has  every  Chinese  city  and 
locality  its  more  highly  esteemed  and  more  powerful  idol. 
There  too  are  to  be  found  exorcists,  diviners,  and  books  on  cu- 
rious arts,  all  more  or  less  believed  in  by  the  multitude,  who  in 
like  manner  believe  also  in  the  "possession"  by  "evil  spirits" 
of  people  actually  known  to  them.    For  us  these  words  ^'ex- 

thefle  BayingB,  they  were  fall  of  wratb^  and  cried  oat,  saying,  Qreat  is  Diana  of 
the  Ephesians.  And  the  whole  city  was  filled  with  confosion ;  and  haring  eaoghi 
Galas  and  Aristarchos,  men  of  Macedonia,  PauFs  companions  in  trayel,  they 
roshed  with  one  accord  into  the  theatre.  And  when  Paal  would  have  entered 
in  nnto  the  people,  the  disciples  suffered  him  noL  And  certain  of  the  chief 
of  Asia,  which  were  his  friends,  sent  unto  him,  desiring  him  that  he  would 
not  adrentare  himself  into  the  theatre.  Some  therefore  cried  one  thing,  and 
some  another :  for  the  assembly  was  confused ;  and  the  more  part  knew  not 
wherefore  they  were  come  together.  And  they  drew  Alexander  out  of  the 
multitude,  the  Jews  putting  him  forward.  And  Alexander  beckoned  with  the 
id,  and  would  have  made  his  defence  unto  the  people.  But  when  th^ 
kl^S^iat  he  was  a  Jew,  all  with  one  roice  about  the  space  of  two  hours  cried 
out,  GrS!!^  Diana  of  the  Ephesians.  And  when  the  town-cleik  had  appeased 
the  people,  he  said.  Ye  men  of  Ephesus,  what  man  is  there  that  knoweth  not 
how  that  the  city  of  the  Ephesians  is  a  worshipper  of  the  great  goddess  Diana, 
and  of  the  image  which  fell  down  from  Jupiter  1  Seeing  then  that  these  things 
cannot  be  spoken  against,  ye  ought  to  be  quiet,  and  to  do  nothing  ivahly.  For 
ye  haye  brought  hither  these  men,  which  are  neither  robbers  of  ohurches,  nor 
yet  blasphemers  of  your  goddess.  Wherefore  if  Demetrius,  and  the  craflsmeii 
which  are  with  him,  have  a  matter  against  any  man,  the  law  is  open,  and  there 
are  deputies :  let  them  implead  one  another.  But  if  ye  enquire  any  thin^: 
concerning  other  matters,  it  shall  be  determined  in  a  lawjful  assembly.  For  we 
are  in  danger  to  be  called  in  question  for  this  day's  uproar,  there  being  no 
caase  whereby  we  may  give  an  account  of  this  concourse.  And  when  he  had 
thus  spoken,  he  dismissed  the  assembly." 

*  In  Mr.  Gutzlaff*B  translation  of  the  Kew  Testament,  that  used  by  Mr. 
Roberts  when  Hung  sew  tseuen  studied  with  him,  for  the  name  Diana  is  sub- 
stituted the  title  of  a  Chinese  goddess  "  Teen-how,  the  Queen  of  HeaTen," 
whom  the  reader  will  find  described  in  chapter  xiiL  of  Dayis*  Chinese.  She 
was  bom  in  the  province  of  Fuh  keen,  and  was  deified  in  the  thirteenth  oentuiy 
under  the  Sung  dynasty.  Being  considered  the  Goddess  of  the  Sea,  she  is  the 
chief  object  of  yeneration  of  the  coastlanders  of  south-eastern  China.  Kow 
nearly  all  Chinese  know,  from  widely  promulgated  mandarin  proclamations 
against  Christianity,  that  Christ  was  bom  in  the  time  of  the  Han  dynasty 
about  1200  years  before  the  Sung  dynasty.  How  then  could  Christ's  contem- 
poraries worship  in  the  West  the  Goddess  of  the  Sea  a  thousand  years  or  so 
before  she  was  bom  ?  There  are  other  grave  objections  to  the  rendering;  and 
it  forms  an  instance  of  those  defects  in  foreign  biblical  titnslations  whieh 
should  in  every  case  make  Christians  of  the  orthodox  West  exercise  much 
charity  in  Judging  of  the  preachings  and  doctrines  of  Hung  tew  tseuen  and  hib 
followers. 


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HUNQ  SEW  TSEUEN'S  NEW  SECT  OF  CHBISTIANS.  95 

OTcist,'*  "diviner,"  "evil  spirit,"  and  even  the  words  "temple  '* 
and  "  idol "  have  little  force  or  weight,  because  applied  to 
things  which  have  for  centuries  ceased  to  be  seen  or  believed 
in.  But  in  the  Chinese  translation  of  this  chapter  the  Chinese 
words  are  necessarily  those  actually  in  use  of  things  that 
every  Chinese  has  had  under  his  eyes  and  believed  in  from 
his  youth  up.  So  also  with  respect  to  the  "craftsmen." 
China  has  in  all  towns  its  "hongs"  or  organized  societies 
(guilds)  of  tradesmen  and  artificers,  any  of  whom  might  get 
up  an  assemblage  and  disturbance  when  their  interests  were 
threatened.  This  they  would  moreover  very  likely  do  in 
the  Ching  hwang  meaou  or  city  temple  which  exists  in 
every  city ;  and  at  one  end  of  the  large  open  court  of  which 
you  always  find  the  "  theatre^'  or  stage  where  public  per- 
formances are  given  in  honor  of  the  gods  at  the  cost  of  the 
"  guilds  "  or  of  the  oflScials,  or  of  rich  private  individuals. 
And  such  a  disturbance  would  very  likely  be  ended  by  the 
district  magistrate  coming  in  his  sedan,  placing  himself  in 
some  commanding  position  and  holding  precisely  such  a 
speech  as  the  "town  clerk"  of  Ephesus  held;  in  particular 
by  warning  his  hearers  of  the  "  danger  of  being  called  in 
question  for  the  uproar  "  by  the  Governor  General  of  the 
province  or  even  by  the  Imperial  Government  if  blood  should 
be  shed. 

In  the  zxii.  chapter  of  Acts  St.  Paul  describes  the 
vision  to  which  he  looked  back  as  the  origin  of  his  con* 
version;  and  there  can  be  no  doubt  that,  in  natural  and 
perfectly  honest  imitation,  Hung  sew  tseuen  looked  back  to 
the  vision  he  had  had  in  1837.  Hence  he  preached,  as  a 
Divine  Commissioner,  with  authority;  while  his  natural  dis- 
position caused  him  to  preach  with  stem  vehemence  and 
imperiousness.  If  friends  would  not  believe  he  renounced 
their  friendship.  "  If  my  own  parents,  my  wife  and  children 
do  not  believe,  I  cannot  feel  united  with  them,  how  much 
leas  with  other  friends."  According  as  people  believed  or 
not,  he  preached  great  happiness  or  terrible  punishments  in  a 
future  state.     Ho  got  angry  if  he  was  obstinately  argued 


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96  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  BEBELLIONS. 

with,  reviling  and  heaping  denunciations  on  his  opposers.     It 
is  clear  that  from  the  first  he  did  not  practise  the  quaker 
doctrines  of  peace  at  every  cost  and  of  patient  endurance  of 
all  attacks.     He  violently  destroyed  a  generally  revered  idol 
in  Kwang  se,  the  Kan  wang  yay,  and  he  distinctly  declared : 
'*  Too  much  patience  and  humility  do  not  suit  our  present 
times,  for  therewith  it  would  be  impossible  to  manage  this 
perverted  generation."     Here  again,  to  prevent  a  too  hasty 
and  unqualified  condemnation  and  an  undervaluing  of  Hung 
sew  tseuen's  character,  I  must  remind  the  reader  that  in 
studying  the  Scriptures  at  Mr.  Roberts'  establishment  he 
found  recorded  in  all  the  four  Gospels  the  forcible  expulsion 
from  the  temple  of  those  that  '^  bought  and  sold,"  whose  tables 
were  ** overturned,"  and  who  were  driven  out  with  a  "scourge 
of  small  cords."     Preachers  in  Christian  Europe  naturally 
dwell  most  on  those  acts  of  their  Great  Pattern  which  best 
exemplify  his  main  character  of  a  mild  and  patient  sufferer ; 
but  an  earnest  Chinese  enquirer,  reading  for  his  own  in- 
struction, would  neglect  nothing;  and  a  man  of  impatient 
disposition  would  not  overlook  that  particular  act,  four  times 
recorded,  which  seemed  to  justify  a  resort  to  practical  violence 
in  a  good  cause. 

The  demolition  of  a  number  of  idols  by  the  God-worship- 
pers, after  the  example  given  by  Hung  sew  tseuen,  incensed 
the  general  population  against  them,  and  led  to  their  first 
collision  with  the  authorities.  A  rich  graduate  named  Wang 
lodged  an  accusation  against  them  for  these  acts  at  the  office 
of  the  district  magistrate  of  Ping  nan.  He  endeavoured  to 
strengthen  his  charge,  as  a  Chinese  under  such  circumstances 
was  almost  certain  to  do,  by  declaring  the  association  to  be 
in  reality  rebellious.  But  there  appears  to  be  no  reason  to 
believe  it  to  have  been  such  at  that  time*  Fung  yun  san 
and  another  member  of  the  body  having  been  imprisoned, 
Hung  sew  tseuen  "  remembered  that  the  Governor-General 
of  Kwang  tung  and  Kwang  se,  Ke  ying,  had  gained  per- 
mission from  the  Emperor  for  Chinese  as  well  as  foreigners 
to  profess  Christianity ;  and,  after  further  consultation  with 


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HUNG  SEW  TSEUEN'S  NEW  SECT  OF  CHRISTIANS,  97 

the  brethren  at  Thistle  mount,  he  took  his  departure  for 
Kwang  tung  intending  to  present  a  petition  to  the  governor 
general  on  behalf  of  his  friends,  who  suffered  imprisonment 
because  of  their  religious  persuasion/'  This  intention  of 
appealing  to  a  high  Manchoo  official  goes  rather  to  prove 
that  Hung  sew  tseuen's  practical  object  was  still  confined 
to  religious  prosely tism ;  though,  in  the  course  of  the  long 
discussions  that  took  place  on  the  subject,  he  may  have  said 
things  that  sounded  like  a  presentiment  of  his  after  rise 
against  the  government,  when  recalled  to  mind  subsequent 
to  that  event,  such  as :  "If  we,  because  of  the  true  doctrine, 
suffer  such  persecution,  wl^t  may  be  the  design  of  God  in 
this.''  He  left  Kwang  se  about  the  beginning  of  March, 
1848,  but  on  reaching  Canton  about  the  20th  of  thaJ^^Hjonth 
learned  from  Mr.  Roberts'  man,  that  Ke  ying  had.  l^eft  for 
Peking  some  ten  days  before.  He  therefore  set.But'^^ain 
for  Kwang  se.  In  the  mean  time  the  result  of  the  \ofecial 
investigations  there  was,  that  Fung  yun  saQ^  afte<  his  com- 
panion had  "  died  from  the  effects  of  co^pem^i;  in  gaol," 
was  put  in  charge  of  two  policemen  toHbe  conveyed  to  his 
native  district — a  common  legal  proceeding  in  China.  But 
*' during  the  journey  Fung  yun  san,  in  Ks  usual  manner, 
spoke  with  great  eloquence  and  in  persuasive  language, 
about  the  true  doctrine;  and  they  had  not  walked  many 
miles  before  the  two  policemen  were  won  as  converts.  They 
not  only  agreed  to  set  him  at  liberty  instantly,  but  declared 
themselves  willing  to  abandon  their  own  station  and  follow 
Fung  to  the  congregation  at  Thistle-mount  where  he  soon 
after  introduced  them  as  candidates  for  baptism.'^ 

Hearing  Hung  sew  tseuen  had  gone  to  Kwang  tung  on 
his  behalf,  Fung  yun  san  followed  him.  They  crossed  each 
other  on  the  way ;  but  eventually  met  again  in  their  native 
district,  to  which  Hung  sew  tseuen  returned  in  November, 
1848.  They  remained  at  their  home  till  July,  1849,  when 
they  left  it  for  Kwang  se,  and  have  not  since  seen  it. 

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98  THE  CHINESB  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS, 


CHAPTER  VIII. 


ORIGIN  OP  THE  GR0J8SER  FANATICISMS  OP  THE  NEW  SECT 
OP  CHRISTUNS. 


It  is  not  without  special  cause  that  I  have  detailed  these 
journeyings  to  and  from  Kwang  se,  and  have  given  all  the 
dates  mentioned  in  Mr.  Bamberg's  book  or  which  I  have 
been  enabled  otherwise  to  get  at.  We  learn  thereby  the 
important  fact  that  it  was  during  the  temporary  absences  of 
Hung  sew  tseuen  and  Fung  yun  san,  that  the  religious  move- 
ment first  began  to  assume  its  extremest  fanatical  phase;  and 
that  those  alleged  descents  of  God  and  Christ  into  the  world 
and  their  direct  addresses  to  the  God-worshippers  began  to 
take  place,  which  sound  so  blasphemously  to  our  ears,  as 
narrated^  without  explanation,  in  the  insurgents'  publications. 
These  addresses  are  given  in  one  of  the  pamphlets  obtained 
when  the  Hermes  visited  Nanking.  I  quote  its  commence* 
ment  from  Dr.  Medhurst's  translation ;  merely  premising  that 
while  that  gentleman  has  translated  the  word  teen  sometimes 
by  "  celestial,"  at  other  times  by  "  heavenly,"  I  should  trans- 
late it  either  by  "heavenly  "  or  by  ** divine  "  as  more  accu- 
rately expressing  to  the  English  mind  the  elevated  ideas 
attached  by  the  insurgents  to  the  original. 


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FANATICISMS  OP  THE  NEW  SECT  OF  CHRISTIANS.  99 


THE  BOOK  OF  CELESTIAL  DECREES  AND  DECLA- 
RATIONS  OF  THE  IMPERIAL  WILL, 

FMisked  in  the  Second  Year  of  the  T Hoe  ping  Dynasty,  denominated 
Jin  tsze,  or  1852. 

The  proclamation  of  the  celestial  king  is  to  the  following 
effect : — 

'*  In  the  third  month  (April)  of  the  Mow-shin  year  (1848) 
our  heavenly  Father  the  great  God  and  supreme  Lord 
came  down  into  the  world  and  displayed  innumerable 
miracles  and  powers^  accompanied  by  evident  proofs^  which 
are  contained  in  the  Book  of  Proclamations.  In  the  ninth 
month  (October)  of  the  same  year,  our  celestial  elder  Brother, 
the  Saviour  Jesus  came  down  into  the  world,  and  also  displayed 
innamerable  miracles  and  powers,  accompanied  by  evident 
proofs,  which  are  contained  in  the  Book  of  Proclamations. 
Now  lest  any  individual  of  our  whole  host,  whether  great 
or  small,  male  or  female,  soldier  or  officer,  should  not  have 
a  perfect  knowledge  of  the  holy  will  and  commands  of  our 
heavenly  Father,  and  a  perfect  knowledge  of  the  holy  will 
and  commands  of  our  celestial  elder  Brother,  and  thus  un- 
wittingly offend  against  the  celestial  commands  and  decrees, 
therefore  we  have  espedally  examined  the  various  proclama- 
tions contiuning  the  most  important  of  the  sacred  decrees 
and  commands  of  our  heavenly  Father,  and  celestial  elder 
Brother,  and  having  classified  them  we  have  published  them 
in  the  form  of  a  book,  in  order  that  our  whole  host  may 
diligently  read  and  remember  them  and  thus  avoid  offending 
against  the  celestial  decrees,  and  do  that  which  is  pleasing  to 
our  heavenly  Father  and  celestial  elder  Brother.  There  are 
annexed  to  the  same  some  of  our  royal  proclamations  with 
the  view  of  making  you  acquainted  with  the  laws,  and 
causing  you  to  live  in  dread  of  them.    Respect  this. 

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100  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

"  On  the  16th  day  of  the  3d  moon  (2l8t  of  April),  of  the 
Ke-yew  year  (1849)  in  the  district  city  of  Kwei  (in  Ewang 
se),  our  heavenly  Father,  the  great  God  and  supreme  Lord, 
said  '  On  the  summit  of  Kaou  laou  hill^  exactly  in  the  form 
of  a  cross,  there  is  a  pencil;  pray,  (and  you  will  get  a 
response).'  * 

"On  the  14th  day  of  the  3d  moon  (19th  April),  of  the 
Sin-k'hae  year  (1851)  in  the  village  of  Tung  heang  (in  the 
district  of  Woo  seuen),  the  heavenly  Father  addressed  the 
multitude  saying,  Oh  my  children!  do  you  know  your 
heavenly  Father  and  your  celestial  elder  Brother?  To 
which  they  all  replied.  We  know  our  heavenly  Father 
and  celestial  elder  Brother.  The  heavenly  Father  then 
said,  Do  you  know  your  lord  and  truly  ?f  To  which 
they  all  replied,  We  know  our  Lord  right  weU.  Tlie 
heavenly  Father  said,  I  have  sent  your  Lord  down  into 
the  world  to  become  the  celestial  king :  every  word  he  utters 
is  a  celestial  command ;  you  must  be  obedient ;  you  must 
truly  assist  your  lord,  and  regard  your  king;  you  must 
not  dare  to  act  disorderly,  nor  to  be  disrespectful.  If  you 
do  not  regard  your  Lord  and  King  every  one  of  you  will  be 
involved  in  difficulty. 

*'  On  the  18th  day  of  the  3d  moon  (April  23d),  of  the 
Sin-k'hae  year  (1851)  in  the  village  of  Tung-heang,  (in  the 
district  of  Woo-seuen),  the  celestial  elder  Brother  the  Saviour 
Jesus  addressed  the  multitude,  saying,  Oh  my  younger 
brethren  I  you  must  keep  the  celestial  commands,  and 
obey  the  orders  that  are  given  you,  and  be  at  peace  among 
yourselves:  if  a  superior  is  in  the  wrong,  and  an  inferior 
somewhat  in  the  right ;  or  if  an  inferior  is  in  the  wrong,  and  a 
superior  somewhat  in  the  right,  do  not  on  account  of  a  single 
expression,  record  the  matter  in  a  book,  and  contract  feuds  and 

*  This  passage  is  yery  difficult  of  comprehension;  it  probably  refers  to  a 
suspended  pencil,  balanced  by  a  cross-bar,  which  agitated  by  the  wind,  described 
certain  characters  by  means  of  which  the  insurrectionists  were  accustomed  to 
divine. — See  Morrison's  Dictionary,  Part  I.  yoI.  I.  p.  40.  (Dr.  Medhurst.) 

t  The  "  lord**  here  refers  to  the  chief  of  the  insurrection.  (Dr.  Medhurst) 


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FANATICISM  OP  THE  NEW  SECT  OF  CHRISTIANS.         101 

enmities.  You  ought  to  cultivate  what  is  good,  and  purify 
your  conduct :  you  should  not  go  into  the  villages  to  seize 
people's  goods.  When  you  go  into  the  ranks  to  fight  you 
must  not  retreat.  When  you  have  money,  you  must  make  it 
public  and  not  consider  it  as  belonging  to  one  or  another.  You 
must  with  united  heart  and  strength  together  conquer  the 
liills  and  rivers.  You  should  find  out  the  way  to  heaven, 
and  walk  in  it ;  although  at  present  the  work  be  toilsome 
and  distressing,  yet  by  and  by  you  will  be  promoted  to 
high  ofiices.  If  after  having  been  instructed  any  of  you 
should  still  break  Heaven's  commands  and  slight  the  orders 
given  you,  or  disobey  your  officers,  or  retreat  when  you  are 
led  into  battle,  do  not  be  surprised  if  I,  your  exalted  elder 
Brother,  issue  orders  to  have  you  put  to  death." 


From  the  narrative  I  have  given  above  it  will  be  seen 
that  in  April,  1848,  Hung  sew  tseuen  was  probably  in 
Kwang  tung,  Fung  yun  san  in  prison ;  and  that  in  October, 
1848,  Fung  yun  san  was  probably  in  Kwang  tung.  Hung 
sew  tseuen,  on  the  way  thither.  On  the  21st  of  April,  1849, 
the  date  of  the  first  recorded  communication,  both  of  them 
were  certainly  absent  in  Kwang  tung.  Now  this  is  the 
only  cabalistic  address  partaking,  as  an  unintelligible  jargon, 
in  so  far  of  the  nature  of  the  heathen  Chinese  systems  of 
divination.  The  second  and  third  of  the  addresses,  as  well 
as  all  others  in  the  book,  the  whole  of  which  were  delivered 
after  an  interval  of  two  years,  when  Hung  sew  tseuen  and 
Fung  yun  san  had  not  only  rejoined  their  proselytes,  but 
had  for  some  months  headed  them  in  an  openly  avowed 
contest  against  the  Manchoo  dynasty,  are  all  couched  in 
intelligible  and  simple  Chinese,  however  inappropriate  they 
may  be,  as  proceeding  from  the  Christian  God. 

When  Hung  sew  tseuen  and  Fung  yun  san  returned  to 
Kwangse  in  the  autumn  of  1849,  ^'  they  learned  that  during 
their  absence  in  Kwang  tung,  some  very  remarkable  occur- 


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102  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  REBELLIONS. 

rencee  bad  taken  place  in  the  congregation  of  the  God- 
worshippers,  which  had  brought  disorder  and  dissension 
among  the  brethren.  It  sometimes  happened  that  while 
they  were  kneeling  down,  engaged  in  prayer,  one  or  other  of 
those  present  was  seized  by  a  sudden  fit,  so  that  he  fell  down 
to  the  ground,  and  his  whole  body  was  covered  with  perspi- 
ration. In  such  a  state  of  ecetacy,  moved  by  the  spirit, 
he  uttered  words  of  exhortation,  reproof,  prophecy,  &c. 
Often  the  words  were  unintelligible  and  they  were  generally 
delivered  in  rhythm.  The  brethren  had  noted  down  in  a  book 
the  more  remarkable  of  these  sayings,  and  presented  them 
for  inspection  to  Hung  sew  tseuen.  The  latter  now  judged 
the  spirits  according  to  the  truth  of  the  doctrine,  and 
declared  that  the  words  of  those  moved  were  partly  true  or 
partly  false.  Thus  confirming  the  already  expressed  opinion 
of  Yang  sew  tsing  that  they  were  *  partly  from  Grod  and 
partly  from  the  devil/ 

'^  The  most  remarkable  of  the  sayings  which  Hung  sew 
tseuen  acknowledged  as  true  were  those  of  Yang  sew  tsing 
and  Seaou  chaou  hwuy.  Yang  was  originally  a  very  poor 
man,  but  he  joined  the  congregation  with  much  earnestness 
and  sincerity.  Whilst  there  he  suddenly  lost  his  power 
of  speech,  and  was  dumb  for  a  period  of  two  months,  to 
the  astonishment  of  the  brethren,  who  considered  this  to 
be  an  evil  omen :  but  afterwards  he  recovered  the  use  of  his 
tongue,  and,  more  frequently  than  any  other,  was  subject 
to  fits  of  ecstacy  in  which  he  spoke  in  the  name  of  God  the 
Father  and  in  a  solemn  and  awe-inspiring  manner  reproved 
others'  sins,  often  pointing  out  individuals,  and  exposing 
their  evil  actions.  He  also  exhorted  to  virtue  and  foretold 
future  events,  or  commanded  what  they  ought  to  do.  His 
words  generally  made  a  deep  impression  upon  the  assembly. 
Seaou  chaou  hwuy  spoke  in  the  name  of  Jesus,  and  his 
words  were  milder  than  those  of  Yang.  One  of  the  Wang 
clan  had  spoken  against  the  doctrine  of  Jesus,  and  led  many 
astray,  but  he  was  excluded  from  the  congregation,  and  his 


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FANATICISMS  OP  THE  NEW  SECT  OF  CHRISTIANS.        103 

words  declared  false,  being  spoken  under  the  influence  of 
a  corrupt  spirit. 

"  It  appears,  also,  that  many  sick  persons  had  been  cured 
in  a  wonderful  manner  by  prayer  to  God,  and  Yang  was 
said  to  possess  the  gift  of  curing  sicknesses  by  intercession  for 
the  sick.  From  the  description  it  would  almost  seem  as  if 
Yang  had  willingly  submitted  and  prayed  to  have  the  sick* 
ness  of  the  patient  transferred  to  himself,  and  that  be  for 
a  short  while  had  borne  his  sufferings  whereby  he  redeemed 
the  disease  of  the  patient,  and  was  afterwards  himself 
released  from  the  consequences  of  his  own  intercession.^' 

This  passage,  I  may  remark  in  passing,  is  one  of  the 
strongest  proofs  of  the  truthfulness  and  general  accuracy  of 
the  narratiye  in  Mr.  Hamberg*s  book.  The  parts  therein 
assigned  to  Yang  sew  tsing  and  Seaou  chaou  hwuy,  the  first 
as  the  medium  of  communication,  the  spokesman,  of  "  God 
the  Father,''  the  second  as  the  spokesman  *'of  Jesus,"  are 
precisely  those  which  the  latest  authentic  communication 
from  the  Nanking  insurgents  to  foreigners  gives  to  both. 
In  a  letter  from  Yang  sew  tsing  himself  as  Eastern  Prince 
to  the  Commander  of  H.  M.'s  war  steamer  Rattler  it  is  dis- 
tinctly stated  that  "  when  the  Heavenly  Father  comes  down 
into  the  world  to  instruct  the  people,  his  Sacred  Will  is 
delivered  by  the  mouth  of  the  Eastern  Prince ; "  and  that 
*'  when  the  Heavenly  Brother  Jesus  comes  down  into  the 
world  to  instruct  the  people,  his  Sacred  Will  is  delivered  by 
the  mouth  of  the  Western  Princes ; "  who  is  Seaou  chaou 
hwuy. 

The  fact  of  Hung  sew  tseuen's  acknowledging  these  two 
men  as  communicators  of  the  will  of  God  and  of  Jesus  is 
also  a  strong  proof  of  his  own  perfect  sincerity.  Had  he 
been  merely  a  crafty,  deliberate  impostor,  he  would,  as 
a, necessary  consequence,  have  held  Yang  sew  tsing  and 
Seaou  chaou  hwuy  to-be  equally  impostors;  and  would, 
sooner  than  any  other,  have  perceived  that  this  assumed 
capacity  of  communicators  of  the  Highest  Will  virtually  gave 


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104  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

them  the  supreme  direction  In  the  aflfairs  of  the  Godworahip- 
pers — the  power  to  command  himself  as  well  as  every  other 
member  of  the  community.  As  a  sincere  believer,  on  the 
other  hand,  of  the  reality  of  his  own  mission  and  of  the 
doctrines  and  faith  he  preached,  there  were  many  reasons  for 
his  being  led  to  acknowledge  and  submit  to  their  pretensions. 
As  St.  Paul  had  been  converted  by  a  vision,  so  he  looked 
back  to  a  vision  as  the  origin  of  his  conversion.  And  as  St. 
Paul  had  travelled  with  one  or  two  companions  from  Pales- 
tine to  Greece  and  Asia  Minor,  and  there  founded  societies  of 
converts,  so  had  he,  accompanied  by  Fung  yun  san,  travelled 
from  Kwang  tung  to  Kwang  se — to  poor  men  like  them  a 
journey  of  three  weeks  or  a  month — and  in  like  manner 
founded  societies  of  converts.  But  the  very  book  which  was  the 
authority  for  his  mission  and  his  teachings  stated  that  the 
converts  of  St.  Paul  "  spoke  with  tongues  and  prophesied.'' 
It  also  said  that  God  wrought  special  miracles  "  by  the  hand 
of  Paul  so  that  from  his  body  were  brought  unto  the  sick 
handkerchiefs  or  aprons,  and  the  diseases  departed  from 
them  and  the  evil  spirits  went  out  of  them.''  The  same 
book,  far  from  declaring  that  the  spirit  will  cease  to 
speak  through  man,  gives,  in  the  words  of  Paul  to  one  of 
the  societies  he  had  established,  the  express  command, 
**  Quench  not  the  spirit,  despise  not  prophesyings,  prove  all 
things,  hold  fast  that  which  is  good."  It  enjoins  further  not 
to  believe  "every"  spirit,  and  teaches  how  to  distinguish 
"  the  false  prophets "  from  "  the  spirits  that  are  of  God." 
The  test  is :  "  Every  spirit  is  of  God  that  confesseth  that 
Jesus  Christ  is  come  in  the  flesh."  All  this  Is  in  the  New 
Testament,  and  precisely  in  those  chapters  quoted  in  fuU  in 
Leang  a  fah's  book.  When,  therefore.  Hung  sew  tseuen 
on  returning  to  Kwang  se  after  a  yearns  absence,  found  that 
it  had  "  sometimes  happened  that  while  the  brethren  were 
kneeling  in  prayer  one  or  other  was  seized  by  a  fit "  and  In 
that  "  state  of  ecstacy  moved  by  the  spirit  uttered  words  of 
exhortation,  reproof  and  prophecy,"  how  could  he  venture 


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FANATICISMS  OF  THE  NEW  SECT  OF  CHRISTIANS.         105 

in  his  own  mind  summarilj  to  condemn  all  this  as  '^  not  of 
God?"  I  repeat,  as  a  designer,  and  practical  establisher  of 
a  system  to  serve  only  his  own  ambition,  he  must  have  seen 
in  it  nothing  but  the  attempts  of  other  impostors  to  over- 
reach him.  As  a  sincere  believer,  he  conscientiously  applied 
the  test,  as  comprehended  by  him,  '^  judged  the  spirits," 
acknowledged  Yang  sew  tsing  as  the  utterer  of  the  words  of 
God ;  and  thus  opened  a  door  to  all  that  is  objected  to,  by 
Occidental  Christians  generally,  in  the  doctrines  and  practice 
of  this  new  sect  of  Oriental  Christians. 

Hung  sew  tseuen  rejoined  the  Godworshippers  about 
August,  1849.  For  another  year  the  society  retained  its 
exclusively  religious  nature ;  but  in  the  autumn  of  1850  it 
was  brought  into  collision  with  the  local  authorities,  when 
the  movement  almost  immediately  assumed  a  political  cha* 
racter  of  the  highest  aims. 


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106  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 


CHAPTER  IX. 

RETROSPECTIVE   ACCOUNT  OP  THE   ESTABLISHMENT   OF  THE 
MANCHOO    POWER   IN  CHINA. 

In  order  to  understand  the  origin  and  progress  of  the  all- 
important  modification  mentioned  at  the  close  of  the  last 
chapter^  we  must  go  back  a  little  in  time  and  also  devote 
some  space  to  the  consideration  of  a  very  different  descrip- 
tion of  Chinese  associations.  Their  object  has  been  to  expel 
the  present  dynasty ;  and  I  have,  indeed  reached  a  point 
where  I  think  it  will  be  a  help  to  the  reader  if  I  lay  before 
him  some  more  of  the  circumstances  that  attended  the  esta- 
blishment of  the  Manchoo  power  over  China  Proper.  When 
I  say  reader,  I  mean  him  who  is  inspired  with  a  serious  desire 
to  acquaint  himself  with  the  actual  position  of  things  in 
China,  with  a  view  to  a  better  valuation  of  the  probabilities 
either  of  the  expulsion  of  the  Manchoos,  or  of  their  complete 
re-establishment  in  power  after  purifying  hardships  and  a 
bracing  struggle. 

On  pages  30,  31,  which  I  may  beg  such  a  reader  not 
to  be  too  indolent  to  re-peruse,  I  have  shown  that  it  was  a 
Chinese  rebel,  Le  tsze  ching,  not  the  Manchoo  Tartars,  who 
overthrew,  after  an  eight  years'  fight,  the  last  native  dynasty, 
the  Mings.  In  spite  of  years  of  internal  troubles  the  latter 
had  then  still  on  the  borders  a  general,  Woo  san  kwei,  at 
the  head  of  an  army  efiScient  enough  to  keep  off  the  Man- 
choos.  At  crises  of  this  kind  the  question  which  every 
Chinese  has  to  decide  for  himself  is :  Has  the  Divine  Com- 
mission been  withdrawn  from  the  present  house  ?  and  if  so. 


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ESTABLISHMENT  OF  THE  MANCHOO    POWER,  107 

to  nvhom  of  the  various  aspirants  for  the  sovereignty  has  it 
been  given?*  Had  Woo  san  kwei  and  his  army  recog- 
nised Le  tsze  ching  as  the  new  Divinely  Appointed,  it  is 
highly  probable  that  a  new  native  dynasty  would  have  been 
firmly  established;  and  that,  instead  of  the  Manchoos  con- 
quering China,  the  Chinese  would  have  annexed  Manchooria. 

But  Woo  san  kwei  held  it  his  duty  to  support  the  Ming 
family ;  or  at  least  decided  that  Le  tsze  ching  was  not  the 
new  recipient  of  *^  the  Teen  ming,  the  Divine  Commission/' 
but  a  rebellious  usurper.  He  could  not  however  hope  at 
once  to  fight  him  and  also  to  defend  the  boundaries  against 
the  Manchoos,  In  his  dilemma,  he  resorted  to  the  plan  of 
making  peace  with  the  latter,  and  inviting  their  co-operation, 
in  the  hope  that  when  he  had  crushed  the  native  usurper  he 
should  find  means  of  expelling,  or  bribing  out  the  foreign 
barbarians. 

This  is  a  fully  authenticated  instance  of  that  wretched 
impolicy  which  consists  in  hastily  violating  well  established 
general  principles,  for  the  sake  of  an  apparent,  or  even  a  real, 
but  temporary  expediency.  It  forms  a  flagrant  and  very  in- 
structive instance,  not  only  to  the  Chinese  who  suffered  by 
it,  but  also  to  the  Manchoos  who  profited  by  it,  of  the  conse- 
quence of  inviting  external  interference  in  internal  afiairs. 
And  I  direct  particular  attention  to  the  fact  because  it  has 
influenced,  and  will  lai^ely  influence  the  conduct  of  the  his- 
torically well  informed  Chinese,  as  well  as  of  their  scholars 
in  civilization,  the  Manchoos,  with  reference  to  the  interven- 
tion of  us  foreigners  in  the  present  struggle.  It  has  made 
them,  and  will  make  them  adopt  a  tone  of  what  we  call  igno- 
rant, arrogant  obstinacy,  but  which  they  consider  wise  and 
politic  consistency. 

It  had  long  been  an  established  principle  that  the  true 

policy  towards  all  non-Chinese  peoples  or  '^  barbarians  "  was 

•  I  had  once  oecuion  to  obseire  a  Cbinese  official  of  high  rank  tnming  this 
question  orer  in  his  own  mind,  when  talking  with  me  about  the  Tae  pings  at 
Nanking,  to  the  neighbourhood  of  which  place  he  bad  jnst  received  orders  to 
proceed. 


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108  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIE  REBELLIONS. 

to  keep  them  off.  A  temporary  pressure  of  circumstflnces 
induced  Woo  san  kwei  to  violate  this  rule^  and  the  conse- 
quence was  the  subjection  of  his  country  to  barbarians  and 
ultimately  the  extermination,  by  them,  of  his  own  family.  He 
is  consequently  looked  on  historically  as  a  well  meaning  but 
most  inconsiderate  and  unwise  statesman.  He  was  however 
undoubtedly  an  able  general.  With  a  numerically  much  in- 
ferior force,  consisting  of  his  own  army  and  his  Manchoo 
auxiliaries,  he  defeated  Le  tsze  ching  in  several  pit<5hed  bat- 
tles, compelling  him  to  evacuate  Peking,  and  retire  to  the 
south-western  provinces. 

The  stories  which  the  Chinese  still  tell  of  the  acts  of 
individual  Manchoos,  in  these  and  succeeding  years,  show 
that  the  great  body,  not  only  of  the  common  men  but  of 
those  of  higher  station,  were  little  better  than  what  we 
should  call  savages.  But  a  certain  portion  had,  in  the 
struggle  of  their  nation  towards  increased  dominion  during 
the  two  previous  generations,  added  to  their  original  hardy 
and  active  habits  of  an  unsettled  race,  something  of  the 
Chinese  mental  cultivation.  In  addition  to  this  they  had 
with  them,  years  before  Woo  san  kwei  made  his  offer,  a  large 
body  of  tried  Chinese  adherents,  composed  either  of  such 
adventurers  as  I  have  shown  *  to  have  in  all  times  overflowed 
the  bounds  of  China  Proper  or  of  natives  who  had  joined 
them  during  previous  temporary  inroads  into  that  territory.f 
These  original  Chinese  adherents  were  a  great  accession  to 
the  physical  strength,  and  a  still  more  important  accession  to 
the  mental  power  of  the  Manchoos.  Several  of  them  were 
Generals,  when  the  latter,  as  auxiliaries  of  Woo  san  kwei, 
entered  Peking.  This  occurred  in  1644 ;  when  they  almost 
immediately  declared  their  young  king,  Emperor.     Woo  san 

•  See  page  84. 

f  These  Chinese  adherents  were  embodied  into  what  is  called  the  Ham  kenn, 
Chinese  force,  subject  to  the  same  rales  and  discipline  as  the  Manchoos  Proper. 
The  descendants  of  these  people,  whom  we  call  naturalized  Manchoos,  still  form 
a  considerable  portion  of  the  garrisons  of  Bannermen  in  Peking  and  the 
provinces. 


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ESTABLISHMENT  OF  THE  MANCHOO  POWER.  109 

kwei  had  been  previously  induced  to  leave  for  the  west  in 
pursuit  of  the  usurper  Le  tsze  ching.  After  the  death  of 
this  latter  rival,  the  Manchoos  had  recourse  to  the  old  feudal 
system  of  government;  and,  by  creating  Woo  san  kwei  a 
vassal  prince  of  one  or  two  of  the  western  provinces,  ob- 
tained from  him  and  the  Chinese  peoples  allotted  to  his  rule  a 
sullen  acquiescence  in  the  domination  of  a  Manchoo  suzerain 
at  Peking.  It  was  only  by  the  same  expedient  that,  at  the 
end  of  seven  years  of  bloody  fighting  with  chequered  and 
doubtful  success,  that  part  of  the  country  to  which  I  have 
directed  particular  attention,  as  South  Eastern  China,  was 
reduced  to  a  state  of  semi-subjugation.  Three  of  the  most 
powerful  of  the  old  Chinese  adherents  above  alluded  to  were 
severally  constituted  vassal  princes  of  Kwang  se,  Kwang 
tung  and  Fuh  keen ;  positions  which  they  or  their  respective 
children  maintained  for  some  thirty  years.  Throughout  the 
same  period,  the  Chinese  colonies  on  the  west  coast  of 
Formosa  were  altogether  independent  of  the  Manchoos, 
being  under  the  sovereignty  of  a  Fuh  keen  family  which, 
far  from  acknowledging  even  a  nominal  subjection  to  the 
Manchoos,  maintained  an  unceasing  war  with  them  by  means 
of  a  hereditary  naval  superiority.  They  were  the  descendants 
of  a  buccaneering  merchant  adventurer,  who  traded  and 
pirated  on  the  coast  of  China,  amongst  the  Philippines,  and 
in  the  Indian  Archipelago ;  and  who  elevated  himself  into 
political  importance  towards  the  close  of  the  Ming  dynasty. 
It  was  his  son,  known  to  Europeans  as  Coxinga,  who  expelled 
the  Dutch  from  Formosa  and  established  his  family  in  power 
on  that  island. 

About  1673  Kang  he,  the  second  Emperor  of  the  Manchoo 
dynasty,  attained  his  twentieth  year.  He  was  physically  and 
mentally  a  very  superior  man.  While  retaining  the  hardy 
and  active,  hunting  and  military  habits  of  his  progenitors,  he 
had  had  the  advantage  of  a  careful  Chinese  education  from 
bis  earliest  youth.  And  he  was  not  only  intimately  ac- 
quainted with  Chinese  philosophy,  history,  and  institutions. 


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110  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  SEBELLIONS. 

but  Toluntarilj  acquired,  through  the  Jesuits  missionaries, 
a  solid  knowledge  of  mathematics,  and  of  general  European 
science  in  its  then  state,  to  an  extent  curiously  great  in  an 
Asiatic  potentate.  Possibly  this  young  and  talented  ruler 
felt  that  he  possessed  the  abilities,  the  resources,  and  the 
instruments  necessary  to  bring  back  all  China  within  the 
centralized  form  of  government;  and,  to  that  end,  began 
proceedings  against  the  southern  vassals  which  drove  them 
into  rebellion.  Or  it  may  have  been  that  these  latter  thought 
themselves  sufficiently  established  to  assert  complete  inde- 
pendence. Certain  it  is,  however,  that  Woo  san  kwei  who 
was  still  living,  and  the  loved  feudal  ruler  of  the  present 
province  of  Yunan,  formally  threw  off  his  allegiance  and 
marched  (1673-1674)  a  large  army  northwards  against  his 
suzerain.  The  three  vassal  princes  of  South  Eastern  China 
followed  his  example,  and  were  joined  in  the  moyement  by 
the  independent  naval  Prince  of  the  Formosan  Colonies. 
But  though  acting  simultaneously,  they  did  not  act  together; 
some  of  them  even  fought  with  each  other;  and  in  the  course 
of  a  ten  years'  war,  the  young  Emperor  Kang-he  overcame 
them  all.  Kwang  tung  and  Fuh  keen  were  in  about  three 
years  completely  conquered,  and  formally  incorporated  into 
the  centralized  system.  It  took  about  five  or  six  years  to 
reduce  Kwang  se,  which  lay  nearest  to  the  territory  of 
Woo  san  kwei.  This  old  ex-Ming  general  *  maintained  his 
military  reputation  to  the  last  He  carried  on  the  war, 
beyond  the  bounds  of  his  own  principality  rather  than 
within  it,  for  five  years.  He  then  (1678)  died;  when  with  an 
army  in  Hoonan.  In  the  course  of  the  three  years  following 
his  demise,  the  armies  of  the  Manchoo  Emperor  penetrated 
into  his  state,  reduced  it  to  complete  subjection,  and  put 

*  He  was  a  contemporaiy  of  CromweU.  Like  CromveU  he  exerdaed  a 
deciaiye  influence  on  the  foiionea  of  hia  conntiy ;  and  though  he  felt  oon* 
strained  to  acquiesce  in  the  domination  of  his  self  imposed  auxiliaries^  yet 
whenever  he  did  fight^  either  against  or  with  them,  he  was  like  Cromwell  suc- 
cessful as  a  warrior.  Though  almost  unheard  of  in  Europe,  he  was  one  of  the 
most  remarkable  men  that  the  seTenteenth  century  saw  in  the  **  worid.** 


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ESTABLISHMENT  OF  THE  MANCHOO  FOWEB.  Ill 

every  member  of  his  family  to  death.  These  contests  finished, 
the  Emperor  concentrated  his  efforts  on  Formosa,  and  soon 
compelled  its  prince  to  give  in  his  submission.  He  was 
removed  to  Peking,  where  he  thenceforth  resided  as  a 
pensioned  titulary ;  and  the  Formosan  colonies  were  brought 
under  the  centralized  administration  as  a  department  of  the 
Fuh  keen  province. 


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112  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  REBELLIONS. 


CHAPTER  X. 

FORMATION  OP  CHINESE  POLITICAL  SOCIETIES  AGAINST  THB 
MANCHOO  DOMINATION,  AND  ORIGIN  OP  CHINESE  INSURREC^ 
TI0N8  AND  REBELLIONS  GENERALLY. 

The  final  subjugation^  jusfc  narrated,  of  all  South  Eastern 
China  to  the  Manchoo  dynasty  did  not  take  place  till  1678-9, 
that  of  Formosa  not  till  1683^  up  to  which  latter  period  the 
sea-board  population  had  always  a  place  of  refuge  in  that 
independent,  though  small,  Chinese  State.  For  about  40 
years,  therefore,  after  the  advent  of  the  Manchoo  dynasty 
was  proclaimed  at  Peking,  the  mountaineers  and  coast- 
landers  of  South  Eastern  China  never  felt  themselves  com- 
pletely and  hopelessly  under  its  sway ;  and  from  that  date  to 
the  present  day — during  a  period  of  170  years — ^this  very 
portion  of  China  has  been  the  great  seat  of  a  formidable 
political  society,  best  known  as  the  San  ho  hwuy,  the  Triad 
Society,  the  express  object  of  which  has  been  the  expulsion 
of  the  barbarian  conquerors  of  their  country. 

Few  of  the  details  of  its  internal  organization  are  known 
with  certainty.  Like  the  members  of  many  other  societies^ 
the  first  Christians  for  instance^  who  have  had  a  common 
object  so  great  that  in  presence  of  it  all  were  equal,  the 
Triads  call  each  other  **  brethren,'^  and  the  chiefs  are,  irre- 
spective of  actual  age,  the  senior  brethren. 

During  the  remaining  40  years'  rule  of  the  vigorous, 
talented,  and  learned  Emperor  Kaiig  he;  during  the  13 
years*  reign  of  his  son;  and  during  the  60  years'  reign 
of  his  grandson,  his  rival  in  Chinese  political  learning  and 


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FORMATION   OF   POLITICAL   SOCIETIES.  113 

administrative  ability,  these  political  societies  were  only  able 
to  exist  by  the  observance  of  the  strictest  secrecy,  and  the 
adoption  of  peculiar  rules  of  embodiment  and  mutual  support, 
which  tend  to  separation  of  the  members  from  social  and 
family  ties.  Under  the  debasing  influence  of  this  secrecy 
and  this  separation^  to  which  they  were  compelled  during  the 
most  brilliant  century  of  the  Manchoo  domination,  the  mem- 
bers lai^ely  degenerated  into  mere  gang-robbers  and  pirates. 
Nevertheless,  they  have  from  first  to  last  not  ceased  to 
cherish  their  original  principles  and  objects,  summed  up  in 
their  well  known  pithy  manifesto:  ''Fan  tsing  fuh  ming. 
Overthrow  the  Manchoos,  re-establish  the  Mings."  And 
whenever  the  opportunity  has  offered,  the  seemingly  mere 
bandits  and  buccaneers  have  evinced  a  capability  to  aspire 
after,  and  to  assume  a  character  and  functions  essentially 
political.  .^  ^ 

This  is  a  kind  of  change  which  is  not  puzzling  only  tp  the^ 
British  public  at  home.  Many  English,  French  and  Ame<-* 
ricans,  long  residents  in  China,  have  shewn  a  noteworthy  lack 
of  power  to  comprehend  aright,  even  when  it  has  taken  |>uice 
under  their  eyes,  a  transformation  so  alien  to  all  their  pre- 
vious conceptions  and  historical  recollection^  Tbi&^lack  of 
power,  or  mental  incapacity  to  master  a  novel  situation  (as 
we  may  call  it  in  modem  diplomatic  kngudgls),  cannot, 
I  regret  to  say,  be  regarded  at  this  time  simply  as  a  note- 
worthy fact  for  the  philosophical  historian :  it  is  too  likely  to 
prove  a  lamentable  fact  in  a  practical  sense  at  the  present 
crisis  in  China,  by  leading  to  a  radically  unsound  and  wrong- 
headed  interference,  or  a  confused  and  vacillating  inter- 
meddling with  Chinese  political  movements.  The  follow- 
ing remarks  wiU,  I  trust,  set  the  matter  in  its  true  light. 

I  have  already  shewn  above  (page  24)  that  there  does 
not  exist,  in  the  strictly  autocratic  organization  which  the 
Chinese  government  system  constitutes,  any  authorized 
peaceable  means  by  which  the  people  can  check  tyranny  on 
the  part  of  the  Emperor  himself,  or  tyrannical  proceedings 


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114  -THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

Banctioned  by  him«  When  a  district^  a  departmental,  or 
even  a  provincial  authority  makes  tyrannical  demands  on 
those  under  him,  the  Chinese  can  and  do^  often^  oppose  a 
peaceable  opposition  in  this  way :  they  refuse  to  yield  and 
suffer  quietly  all  the  oppressions  brought  to  bear  on  them  to 
extort  compliance.  The  tyrannical  mandarin  either  shrinks 
from  carrying  his  oppressions  beyond  a  certain  degree  and 
extent,  or  these  oppressions  themselves  ultimately  defeat  the 
object  they  were  intended  to  effect.  This  species  of  purely- 
passive  opposition  is  often  accompanied  by  one  of  an  active  but 
still  peaceable  and  quite  negative  character :  the  tradesmen 
will  close  their  shops,  workmen  will  cease  labouring,  and 
passage  boats  stop  running,  i.  e.  there  is  a  general  Btnke  of 
the  productive  and  distributive  classes.  The  result  is  in  both 
cases  the  same,  the  tyrannical  mandarin  fails  in  attaining  his 
aims,  and  finds  himself  an  object  of  general  abhorrence.  But 
the  people  bring  about  this  result  only  by  a  fearful  amount 
of  loss  and  suffering  in  property  and  person ;  and  though  the 
Chinese  do  possess  to  a  degree  in  which  they  are  equalled 
only  by  the  Anglo  Saxon  race  what  may  be  teimed  the 
communal  spirit  (that  is,  the  faculty  of  combining  for  com- 
mon purposes,  and  of  making  the  cause  of  individuals  the 
cause  of  the  community  because  representing  a  principle), 
nevertheless  tyrannical  proceedings  may  be  carried  to  a 
most  deplorable  extent  before  the  people  generally  of  any 
locality  can  resolve  to  engage  in  a  struggle  in  which,  even  if 
successful,  they  unavoidably  suffer  so  much.  The  right  of 
appeal  to  a  higher  authority  exists  in  the  above  cases,  and  is 
invariably  exercised  in  conjunction  with  the  passive  resistance 
offered.  But  the  unfortunate  necessity  in  which  pure  auto- 
cracy is  placed  of  regarding  all  opposition  in  the  first  instance 
as  factious,  and  of  enforcing  obedience  as  the  general  rule, 
rarely  to  be  departed  from, — this  necessity  renders  these 
appeals  for  a  long  time  ineffective ;  while  the  individuals  who 
make  them  in  the  name  of  the  community  seldom  escape  special 
victimization.    Still  it  is  by  persistance  in  these  appeals,  sup- 


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ORIGIN  OF   INSURBECTIONS.  115 

ported  by  strikes  which  interfere  with  the  means  of  living 
and  the  material  prosperity  of  the  people,  that  the  tyrannical 
mandarin  is  checked,  and  indeed  often  ruined  for  life,  though 
only  at  the  cost  of  ruin  to  a  certain  number  of  others.  I  may 
remark  in  passing,  that  we  are  here  considering  in  local 
politics  the  operation  of  a  general  principle  of  Chinese 
sociology,  domestic  and  social,  not  less  than  political.  A 
member  of  a  family  or  of  a  society  will  commit  suicide  in 
order  thereby  to  involve  in  ruin  some  other  member  of  the 
fai^ily  or  society  as  a  punishment  for  injuries  not  otherwise 
to  /be  punished.  I  have  not  space  or  time  to  show  why  the 
iopuries  are,  in  the  cases  referred  to,  not  otherwise  to  be 
dressed,  nor  how  the  suicide  operates  as  a  punishment.* 


r 


In  Hue's  Empire  Chinois,  Tome  II.  chap.  7,  page  SIC  the  "how"  in  the 

tpae  of  two  members  of  a  tociety,  is  sufficiently  explained.    In  the  case  of  two 

aembers  of  a  family  (by  far  the  most  frequent  description  of  these  suicides  I 

elieve)  the  "how'*  is  somewhat  similar.    In  both  cases  the  Imperial  law,  sup- 

orted  by  public  opinion,  acts  to  punish. 

The  following  perfectly  authentic  tale  which  was  related  to  me  by  a  Catholic 
Chinese  illustrates  the  text  by  showing  how,  not  suicide  by  an  individual  but 
a  heavy  sacrifice  on  the  part  of  a  family,  can  check  tyranny  in  a  society.    It  is 
[  at  the  same  time  instructive  in  other  points. 

It  occurred  in  a  locality  where  Christianity  had  existed  among  a  portion  of 

jthe  inhabitants  for  several  generations,  and  where,  consequently,  among  the 

^embers  of  the  Christian  community  were  to  be  found,  as  in  Roman  Catholic 

t    countries  in  the  west,  some  who,  as  the  Chinese  catholics  say,  "  jmh  show  hwei 

m  heu — neglected  the  ordinances,"  that  is  to  say  men  who,  Christians  by  birth,  and 

■  openly  declaring  themselves  to  be  Christians,  were  not  pious  or  indeed  at  all 

I  disposed  to  render  obedience  to  the  priest.    One  of  them  was  a  man — ^we  will 

F  call  him  Chang— noted  for  his  turbulent  disposition  and  for  having  a  large 

family  of  able  bodied  sons  trained  in  their  father's  turbulent  habits.    Now  it 

BO  happened  that  the  Te  paou  or  constable  and  informing  officer  of  that  par- 

9      ticular  locality  took  it  into  his  head  to  avail  himself  of  the  amenability  of  the 

}      Christians  as  such,  to  the  penal  code,  in  order  to  extort  money  from  them ; 

I  taking  care,  however,  not  to  interfere  with  Chang  or  his  sons.     This  proceeding 

became  at  length  so  vexatious,  that  at  the  end  of  a  consultation  in  the  Chapel 

t      the  Priest  (a  western  foreigner)  was  reluctantly  compelled  to  agree  to  an  appli- 

•       cation  being  made  to  the  turbulent  Chang,  from  whom,  as  a  non-observer  of 

}      ordinances  he  had  hitherto  kept  duly  aloof.  Chang,  though  he  thought  religion 

a  bother,  fired  up  when  he  heard  that  the  Christians,  he  being  one,  were  selected 

as  victims  by  the  Te  paou,  and  was  besides  not  displeased  to  make  himself 

valued  by  Ids  oo-religionists  and  the  priests  who  had  hitherto  regarded  him 

with  little  esteem.    He  directed  his  sons  to  seize  the  Te  paou  on  the  first  con- 

i2 


{ 


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116  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

The  fact  is  so  certain  that  the  threat  of  suicide  backed  by 
an  evident  intention  on  the  part  of  the  threatener  to  carry  it 
out  if  unheeded,  often  checks  domestic  and  social  tyrannies. 
There  is  a  kind  of  parallel  in  the  duel  over  a  handkerchief 
which  a  man  little  acquainted  with  pistols  might,  in  the  days 
of  duelling,  offer  the  dead  shot  and  habitual  bully. 

The  above  described  is  the  only  peaceable  means  open  to 
the  Chinese  people  of  checking  oppressions  of  the  mandarins. 
The  reader  will  perceive  that  their  ultimate  efficiency  depends 
on  the  existence  of  an  authority  superior  to  the  oppressors, 
not  less  than  to  the  oppressed,  the  Emperor ;  whose  punish- 
ments are  eventually  brought  down  on  all  parties.     But  wh^n 
the  Emperor  himself  commits  tyrannies,  or  his  chosen  adviseirs 
and  agents,  in  his  name,  and  with  his  unreserved  support,  thea 
nothing  remains  but  a  resort  to  force.     Even  these  appeal) 
to  force  are,  however,  at  first  not  rebellious  movements,  but 
merely  local  insurrections,  having  for  their  ultimate  objec^ 
the  death  of  certain  tyrannical  mandarins.      Some  few  men 
literally  sacrifice  their  lives — I  beg  the  reader  to  note  this 
well — for  the  good  of  the  community.     They  head  a  rising 
against  the  oppressors,  continue  to  oppose  whatever  force  i» 
moved  against  them  until  it  is  settled  by  negotiation  that  nd 
attempt  shall  be  made  to  prolong  the  oppressions,  and  then,^ 
instead  of  flying,  they  in  their  quality  of  ringleaders  delibe-  •. 

renient  opportimitj,  and  bring  him  to  their  hoase.  As  soon  as  this  was.  done,  i 
Chang  had  the  doors  closed,  and  after  exposing  to  him  the  causes  of  his 
seizure  ordered  his  sons  to  kill  him.  The  Te  paou  understanding  at  once  the 
position  of  affurs, — seeing  that  he  had  carried  his  annoyances  so  far  that  a  sacri- 
fice would  be  made  to  put  him  out  of  the  way  and  that  he  really  was  going  to 
be  killed— threw  himself  in  terror  before  Chang,  performed  the  ko  tow,  and 
making  abject  submission,  protested  no  Christian  should  in  future  be  annoyed 
if  he  was  only  spared.  Chang  according  to  my  informant  addressed  him  much 
as  follows ;  "  Well,  you  shall  be  let  off  this  time,  you're  had  a  good  firight ; 
and  you  know  too  there  was  good  cause  for  frights  You  will  remember  when 
you  think  again  of  oppressing  the  Christians  that  I,  Chang,  am  also  a  teen 
choo  kiau  ti.  I  don't  care  about  your  promises.  You  will  not  oppress  them 
any  more,  that  /  know ;  for  if  I  hear  of  your  beginning  again,  I  will  order  one 
of  my  boys  there  to  seek  you  out  and  kill  you  at  once.  He  will  have  to  die 
for  it,  of  course,  but  I  hare  plenty  of  sons,  and  you  shall  be  put  an  end  to." 
From  that  day  forth  the  To  paou  nerer  in  any  way  molested  a  Christian. 


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ORIGIN  OF  REBELLIONS.  117 

lately  surrender,  and  heroically  yield  up  their  lives  as  that 
expiation  on  which  autocracy  must  insist  before  it  dares  to 
give  up  the  struggle.  There  is  neither  hope  nor  thought  of 
OY^tuming  the  dynasty  in  these  risings ;  one  of  which  took 
place  under  the  eyes  of  foreigners  at  Ningpo  within  the  last 
few  years.  They  are  in  the  best  of  times  not  unfrequent  in 
China.  But  when  the  necessity  for  them  becomes  yery 
frequent,  the  people  are  naturally  led  to  think  of  resistance 
by  force  unaccompanied  by  the  self-sacrifice  of  nobler  minded 
individuals.  In  that  case  these  same  men — the  very  people 
who  are  most  likely  to  be  the  first  in  incurring  oppression  by 
being  most  prompt  to  refuse  compliance  with  tyrannical 
demands — ^instead  of  organizing  and  heading  some  such  local 
insorrection  as  has  just  been  described,  take  vengeance  as  far 
as  they  can  with  their  own  hands  and  then  become  outlaws 
— bandits  or  pirates — ^having  more  or  less  of  the  sympathy  of 
the  public,  upon  tofiom  they  from  the  first  levy  black  mail 
rather  than  plunder  of  all  their  property,  as  mere  robbers 
would.  This  is  one  way  in  which  prolonged  resistance  to  the 
general  government  takes  place,  resistance  unaccompanied  by 
any  intention  of  an  eventual  self-sacrifice,  that  would  indeed 
in  this  case  serve  no  purpose.  Another  way  is  as  follows. 
A  man,  originally  a  mere  thief,  burglar  or  highwayman, 
whose  sole  object  was  the  indiscriminate  plunder  of  aU  who 
were  unable  to  guard  against  him,  finds  it  possible,  in  the  state 
of  general  apathy  to  public  order  produced  by  continued 
oppression,  to  connect  himself  with  a  few  fellow  thieves,  &c^ 
and  at  their  head  to  evade  all  efforts  of  the  local  authorities 
to  put  him  down.  As  his  band  increases,  he  openly  defies 
these  authorities,  pillages  the  local  custom  houses  and  trea- 
suries, levies  a  tax  on  passing  merchandize  and  a  black  mail 
from  the  wealthier  residents,  but  refrains  from  plundering  any 
one  outright,  and  while,  by  exempting  the  great  bulk  of  the 
population  from  all  exactions,  he  prevents  the  rise  of  a  general 
ill  feeling  towards  him,  he  as  the  scourge  of  the  oppressors 
gains  the  latent  or  conscious  sympathy  of  all  classes.  Now, 
these  captains  of  bandits,  whatever  their  origin,  do  not,  it  is 


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118  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

true,  while  their  followers  amount  merely  to  a  few  hundreds, 
choose  to  make  themselves  ridiculous  or  to  rouse  the  general 
government  to  more  serious  efforts  against  them,  bj  issuing 
dynastic  manifestoes  or  assuming  the  state  of  royalty.  But 
when  they  begin  to  count  their  followers  by  thousands,  form- 
ing a  regularly  governed  force  they  declare  openly  against 
the  hitherto  reigning  sovereign,  whom  they  denounce  as  a 
usurper.  And  from  the  very  first,  when  merely  at  the  head 
of  a  small  band,  no  Chinese,  acquainted  with  the  history  of 
his  country,  can  refuse  to  see  in  such  a  man  a  possible,  if  not 
probable,  founder  of  a  dynasty.  More  than  one  Chinese 
dynasty  has  been  founded  by  men  like  this ;  the  Ming  dynasty 
which  preceded  the  present  was  so  founded;  and — what  is 
really  very  important  as  an  historical  example — the  greatest 
of  all  native  Chinese  dynasties,  that  of  Han,  was  so  founded. 
If  the  reader  will  refer  to  Du  Halde  he  will  find  the 
founder  of  the  Han  dynasty  described  as  a  **  private  soldier" 
who  became  a  "freebooter"  and  "captain  of  a  troop  of 
vagabonds." 

The  misconception  that  exists  among  foreigners  in  China 
on  this  subject,  and  the  consequent  differences  of  opinion 
manifested  by  Hong  Kong  journals  and  their  correspondents, 
ns  to  whether  the  various  bodies  now  in  arms  against  the 
government  are  rebels,  or  mere  robbers  and  pirates,  forms 
another  example  of  the  thraldom  in  which  language  holds  us; 
and  of  the  confusion  and  mischief  that  may  arise  from  mis- 
taking the  meaning  of  a  single  word.  The  word  in  this  case 
is  isihy  that  applied  by  the  Chinese  to  the  bodies  of  men 
just  alluded  to.  Now  in  the  least  imperfect  of  Chinese  dic- 
tionaries, that  of  Morrison,  this  word  is  explained  to  mean, 
robber  or  bandit  These  English  words  are,  however,  but  a 
portion  of  the  meaning  of  the  Chinese  one ;  which  is  very 
comprehensive,  signifying  all  persons  who  set  the  atUhorities 
at  defiance  by  acquisitive  acts  of  violence.  And,  as  the  object 
which  it  is  sought  to  acquire  may  be  a  bag  of  money  or 
may  be  the  empire ;  it  follows  that  this  one  word,  tsih,  is  in 
fact  equivalent  to  the  three  words,  robber,  bandit  a-nd  rebel 


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ORIGIN  OF  REBELLIONS.  '  119 

As  it  can,  like  all  other  Chinese  words,  be  used  in  every  part 
of  speech,  it  also  means  to  rob,  robbery,  &c.  to  rebel, 
rebellion,  &c. 

Morrison  expressly  warns  those  who  use  his  dictionary 
that  it  has  many  shortcomings.  Nevertheless  translators 
keep  on  rendering  tnk  by  robber  or  bandit  only ;  though  it 
leads  them  into  the  glaring  absurdity  of  employing  these 
terms  of  men  who  have  assumed  the  state  of  sovereigns  and 
have  fought  pitched  battles  at  the  head  of  armies  that  would 
be  considered  large  in  Europe.  About  one  seventh  of  the 
whole  Penal  Code  of  China  is  occupied  by  one  section  treating 
of  attempts  to  take  possession  of  the  property  of  others, 
from  the  theft  of  a  small  sum  of  money  up  to  the  attempt 
to  seize  the  Empire  by  a  person  who  *'  assumes  a  dynastic 
designation,  enrols  troops,  and  perhaps  styles  himself  a  sove- 
reign prince.'*  This  whole  section  is  entitled  Teih  taou. 
Now  taou  is  the  real  Chinese  term  for  robbery  and  theft;* 
while  tsih  refers  to  the  larger  class  of  crimes,  the  different 
d^rees  of  rebellion,  treated  of  in  the  section.  Tsih  means 
therefore  to  rebel,  rebel  and  rebellion.  Its  mistranslation  into 
"robbers,"  '* bandits,"  has  been,  and  is  likely  to  be  the  cause 
of  a  mistaken  and  most  mischievous  interference  in  Chinese 
internal  politics. 

From  the  above  the  reader  will  be  able  to  see  how  it  is 
that  most  foreigners  in  China  have  fallen  into  the  error  of 
ridiculing  the  Chinese  authorities  for  inducing  large  bodies  of 
men  to  lay  down  their  arms  by  bestowing  on  the  leaders  and 
older  adherents,  military  and  naval  commissions,  and  by  dis- 
missing the  rest  with  a  little  money.  So  long  as  the  tsih 
are  but  leaders  of  small  robber-bands  or  private  captains 
of  isolated  rovers,  the  Chinese  government,  like  Christian 
governments  of  the  Occident,  endeavour  to  put  them  down 
by  force.     But  when  these  same  tsih  have  become  heads  of 

*  The  definite  and  distinctiye  technical  forensic  term  for  robbeiy  is  heang 
taou,  fordbU  taou;  that  for  theft  tsee  taoa,  secret  taon.  I  must  again  remind 
the  T^er  that  the  Chinese  Penal  Code  now  in  force  is  strictly  national,  not 
dynastic ;  being  the  latest  development  of  a  written  statute  legislation  that  has 
been  growing  for  more  than  2000  years. 


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120  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

armies  and  fleetB,  able  to  keep  the  field  and  the  eeas  year 
after  year  against  the  government  forces^  that  very  palpable 
and  substantial  fact  joined  to  all  they  are  told  by  their  own 
history  and  by  their  codified  legislation  of  2000  years'  stand- 
ing makes  it  impossible  for  the  Chinese  authorities  to  see  in  the 
tsih  anything  but  what  they  really  are,  political  opponents. 
And  the  ignorant  ridicule  of  occidental  foreigners  would^ 
even  if  it  reached  theur  ears,  have  small  efiect  in  preventing 
them  from  treating  with  these  political  opponents  in  the 
manner  dictated  at  once  by  expedience  and  by  the  principles 
of  their  national  civilization. 

The  reader  will  perceive  from  my  definition  of  civilization 
that  the  Chinese  civilization  has  from  the  earliest  ages  been 
the  highest  in  kind,  whatever  it  may  have  been  in  degree^  or 
in  the  extent  to  which  it  has  been  practically  attained.  It  is 
mental  more  than  material.  It  has  always  taught  distinctly 
in  words  and  in  books  that  man  should  struggle  with  man 
by  moral  and  intellectual  agencies  rather  than  by  physical — 
should  gain  him^  by  subduing  his  heart  and  his  head  rather 
than  his  body.  Hence  the  frequent  and  liberal  use  on  the 
part  of  all  authorities^  from  the  Emperor  to  the  lowest 
mandarin  of  moral  and  argumentative  proclamations;  another 
of  the  peculiar  features  of  Chinese  political  life  ridiculed  by 
occidental  ignorance.  Even  those  mandarins  who  are  least 
disposed  by  their  individual  natures  to  persuasive  and  peace- 
ful measures  are  compelled  by  national  opinion  to  issue 
proclamations  the  text  of  which  is  the  stereotyped  formula : 
"  Puh  jin  puh  keaou  urh  choo — ^I  cannot  bear  to  withhold 
instruction  and  yet  to  destroy!"  or  "Destruction  without 
instruction  is  insufferable  1"  In  this  feature  of  their  mental 
civilization  the  Chinese  are  practically  more  Christian  than 
the  Christians  of  the  west. 

Chinese  history  shows  us  one  other  kind  of  forcible 
change  of  dynasty :  the  prsstorian,  or  such  as  have  been  sud- 
denly effected  by  the  army,  whether  for  the  gratification  of 
its  own  wishes,  or  to  check  tyrannies  against  the  country 
generally.     These  have,  however,  not  been  frequent,  and 


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ORiaiN  OF  BEBELLI0N8.  121 

cannot  operate  to  effect  the  expulsion  of  the  Manchoo  family, 
whose  pnetorian  gaard  and  the  germ  of  whose  army  consists 
of  its  own  countrymen  settled  in  China. 

The  reader^  who  has  mastered  the  above,  necessarily  tedi- 
ous, exposition,  will  I  hope  now  be  able  to  understand  the 
nature  of  Chinese  rebellions,  whether  originated  directly 
by  the  Triad  Society,  by  robber  bands,  or  by  a  religious 
community. 

I  have  indicated  above  (pp.  32,  33)  the  downward  course 
of  the  Manchoo  dynasty  before  and  after  the  British  war. 
This  downward  course  had  become  so  apparent  to  me 
within  four  years  afler  that  contest,  that  in  a  work  I  then 
(June,  1846)  wrote,  I  did  not  hesitate  to  point  to  the  circum* 
stance  in  the  following  terms : — 

^*  The  very  unfair  proportion  of  Manchoos  employed  by  the 
present  dynasty  in  government  posts  is  a  deviation  from  the 
fundamental  principle  of  Chinese  polity ;  and,  as  might  be 
expected,  it  constantly  nourishes  a  feeling  of  dissatisfaction 
among  the  Chinese,  which,  though  they  are  obliged  to  be 
at  some  pains  to  conceal  it,  occasionally  escapes  them.  The 
selling  of  government  posts,  which  has  recently  been  carried 
to  a  great  extent,  is  another  deviation  from  it,  dangerous  in 
the  highest  degree  for  the  present  rulers.  Hitherto  the  dread 
of  the  more  warlike  Manchoos  joined  to  the  partial  operation 
allowed  to  this  principle  has  been  sufficient  to  repress  or  pre- 
vent the  general  rising  of  a  quiet  loving  people ;  but  if  the 
practice  of  selling  offices  be  continued,  in  the  extent  to  which 
it  is  at  present  carried,  nothing  is  more  likely,  now  that  the 
prestige  of  Manchoo  power  in  war  has  received  a  severe 
shock  in  the  late  encounters  with  the  English,  than  that  a 
Chinese  Belisarius  will  arise  and  extirpate  or  drive  into 
Tartary  the  Manchoo  garrisons  or  bannermen,  who,  during  a 
residence  in  China,  twice  as  long  as  that  of  the  Vandals  in 
Africa,  have  greatly  deteriorated  in  the  military  virtues; 
while  they  still  retain  enough  of  the  insolence  of  conquerors, 
to  gain  themselves  the  hatred  of  the  Chinese.'' 

In  less  than  three  years  after  that,  I  had  marked  enough  to 


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122  THE   CHINESE  AND   THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

convince  me  that  some  such  event  was  actually  approaching ; 
for  in  a  letter  of  the  25th  January,  1849^  addressed  to  a 
gentleman  who  had  occupied  an  eminent  position  in  China, 
after  telling  him  of  the  (then)  recent  promotion  to  still  higher 
office  of  the  well  known  mandarin  Ke  ying»*  I  observed  that 
^*  there  was  indeed  great  need  of  able  men  at  the  head  of 
affairs/'  adding,  that  though  we  had  rather  scanty  data  at 
command,  yet,  "judging  from  what  we  do  know  positively, 
we  are  entering  on  a  period  of  insuri^ction  and  anarchy  that 
will  end  sooner  or  later  in  the  downfall  of  the  Manchoo 
dynasty."  I  then  showed  that  "for  the  last  five  years 
robberies  by  bands  of  men  often  numbering  hundreds  had 
become  gradually  more  common,  while  the  sale  not  of  titles 
merely,  but  of  offices,  together  with  the  financial  difficulties, 
had  been  steadily  increasing,"  and  concluded,  "Everything 
in  short  seems  hastening  to  a  worse  state,  and  I  look  in  vain 
for  any  active  principle  of  conservation,  for  anything  to  stop 
the  downward  career." 

This  was,  observe,  written  fully  eighteen  months  before 
the  outbreak  of  the  re%tOM«-political  rising,  the  "  Kwang  se 
rebellion"  proper;  and  nearly  a  year  before  the  bandit  rebels 
in  Kwang  se  assumed  a  distinctly  political  character ;  and 
commenced  that  open  contest  with  the  existing  government, 
which  was  the  immediate  cause  of  the  far  more  dangerous 
religious  political  outbreak. 

*  Reality  is  said  to  beat  fiction,  and  the  mention  of  this  mandarin  reminds 
me  of  the  "  Syrian  Prince  "  whom  Mr.  Titmarsh  encountered  in  his  joamey  from 
Oomhill  to  Cairo  aa  a  vendor  of  pocket-handkerchiefs.  The  mandarin  Ee  ying 
is  a  Prince  of  the  Imperial  family,  the  coasin  I  1)elieye  of  the  last  Emperor. 
He  held  more  than  one  of  those  very  important  posts  of  Goremor  Qeneral 
which  I  hare  described  in  foregoing  pages,  and  was  afterwards  one  of  the  two 
chief  ministers;  a  man  uniting  in  his  own  person  in  China  the  birth,  rank 
and  official  power  of  the  late  Duke  of  Cambridge  and  Lord  Aberdeen  in  Eng- 
land.  Judge  therefore  of  oar  disgust  and  our  astonishment  at  the  ignorance 
and  gullibility  of  John  Bull  when  we  learned  that  an  illiterate  Chinese  of  low 
station,  who  could  not  sit  in  ihe  presence  of  English  gentlemen  in  China,  had 
been  accompanying  ladies  of  some  standing  in  their  Park  drives  and  eventually 
figured  at  the  opening  of  the  first  Crystal  palace  as  the  "celebrated  mandarin 
Keying,**  on  which  occasion  he  walked  in  the  procession  between  the  Arch- 
bishop of  Canterbury  and  the  **  Duke  '* ! ! 


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CONVEESATIONS  OF  THE  BMPEBOB,  123 


CHAPTER  XL 

C0NVEB8ATI0NS  OF  THE  OLD  EMPEROR  TAOU  KWANO  WITH  A 
HIGH  MANDARIN  RESPECTING  BRITISH  PROJECTS  AND  THE 
STATE  OP  SOUTHERN  CHINA. 

About  the  time  that  the  transformation  of  the  bandit  rebels 
into  distinctly  political  rebels  took  place,  viz. — ^in  the  last 
months  of  1849^  some  conversations  took  place  between  the 
old  Emperor  Taou  kwang  and  one  of  his  high  officials,  which 
the  reader  will^  I  believe^  not  blame  me  for  inserting  here. 

I  did  not  get  the  manuscript  record  of  these  conversations 
till  two  years  later^  in  March  1851,  when  I  handed  a  trans- 
lation of  them  to  my  then  official  superior  Dr.  (now  Sir  John) 
Bowring,  who  transmitted  them  to  the  Foreign  Minister 
Xiord  Palmerston.  I  appended  to  my  official  translation  a 
note  in  which  I  examined  the  probabilities  of  the  authen- 
ticity of  the  conversations.  The  substance  of  that  note  I 
here  reproduce  with  some  additions  deemed  necessary  for 
the  information  of  the  home  reader ;  but  which  were  not 
requisite  for  Dr.  Bowring,  with  whom  I  was  in  personal 
communication  and  to  whom  I  was  therefore  able  to  give 
verbally  such  further  information  and  explanations  as  his 
unacquaintance  with  the  language  and  the  peculiar  insti- 
tutions of  the  Chinese  rendered  necessary. 

There  are  two  official  rules  in  the  Chinese  administrative 
system  of  special  importance,  one  that  no  officer  shall  remain 
in  one  and  the  same  post  longer  than  three  years,  the  other 
that  on  each  promotion  he  shall  travel  to  Peking  and  appear 
at  a  levee;  which  latter — the  Emperor  being  the  chief  admi- 


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124  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  BEBELLIONS. 

nistrator — ^is  in  China  necessarily  something  more  than  a  court 
ceremony.  The  Chinese  government  has  the  practical  wisdom 
not  to  be  the  slave  of  mere  routine ;  and  hence  it  interrupts 
the  operation  of  these  rules  whenever  exceptional  circum- 
stances demand  it.  They  are  however  enforced  to  an  extent 
that,  viewing  the  long  journeys  many  of  the  provincial  man- 
darins are  thereby  compelled  to  perform,  seems  to  occidental 
ignorance  extremely  absurd,  comically  Chinese.  But  the 
fact  is  both  of  these  rules  are,  like  most  Chinese  adminis- 
trative forms,  based  on  a  profound  knowledge  of  human 
nature,  and  on  a  long  experience  of  their  fitness  to  the 
national  government  system.  They  are  the  means  by  which 
autocratic  centralization  guards  against  local  tendencies  to 
feudalism.  The  frequent  changes  of  posts  usually  cause 
changes  of  locality;  and  prevent  such  intimate  personal 
regard  between  the  people  and  the  better  mandarins,  as 
would  give  the  latter  the  power  of  great  vassals ;  while  the 
frequent  visits  of  these  same  mandarins  to  the  court  keep 
directly  alive  a  feeling  of  dependence  on  the  autocrat.  It  is 
the  rule  that  the  Emperor  shall  avail  himself  for  administra- 
tive purposes  of  these  appearances  of  his  mandarins  before 
him,  by  questioning  them  as  to  the  state  of  affairs  in  the 
country  they  have  held  oflSce  in,  &c.  This  rule,  it  will  be 
observed,  gives  him  a  constant  means  of  exercising  a  surveil- 
lance over  the  proceedings  of  the  Governors  of  his  eighteen 
provinces,  the  only  officials  with  whom,  as  stated  at  page  9, 
the  system  permits  him  to  communicate  on  paper.  Again, 
it  is  evident  that  precisely  on  this  account  the  Governors  of 
the  provinces  must  be  anxious  to  know  what  passes  on  such 
occasions  between  their  sovereign  and  their  subordinates — 
especially  those  of  the  latter  who  are  nearest  in  rank  to 
themselves — and  it  is  further  evident  that  the  promoted 
subordinate,  must,  on  his  return  to  his  new  post,  be  prepared 
with  a  narrative  to  give  the  Governor  and  any  other  pro- 
vincial superordinates,  or  expect  to  draw  on  himself  their 
jealousy   and    enmity.     To    falsify   anything    that    passed 


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CONVERSATIONS  OP  THE  EMPEBOE,  125 

between  himself  and  the  Great  Buler,  the  Son  of  Heaven^ 
would  be  an  unpardonable  offence ;  and  as  it  is  one  that  would 
be  liable  to  detection  in  the  course  of  subsequent  Imperial 
audiences  of  other  mandarins,  it  is  extremely  unlikely  to  be 
committed.  On  the  other  hand,  the  reflection  that  he  will  have 
to  give  a  true  narrative  of  what  passes  to  those  precisely  whose 
character  and  official  conduct  are  usually  discussed^  must  make 
the  person  who  has  the  audience  exercise  much  care  in  all 
he  says  of  them.  One  of  the  proofs  of  the  genuineness  and 
authenticity  of  the  following  record  is  the  fact,  that  it  gives 
marked  evidence  of  this  very  care.  To  officials  of  lesser  rank 
than  himself,  the  mandarin  is  of  course  not  constrained  to 
give  any  account  of  his  audiences ;  but  they,  and  the  political 
portion  of  the  public  generally,  must  for  obvious  reasons  be 
desirous  of  learning  what  passed.  When  a  record  has  been 
kept,  money  is  given  for  copies,  which  the  body  servants  of 
the  mandarin  must,  in  the  first  instance,  take  by  stealth  with 
the  fear  on  them  of  being  caught  in  the  act.  These  body 
servants  are  mostly  illiterate  men ;  and  here  we  have  another 
proof  of  the  authenticity  of  the  following  record.  Where  the 
JBmperor  in  his  conversation,  endeavours  to  illustrate  his 
views  by  reference  to  the  ancient  national  histories,  the 
hurried  unlearned  transcriber  is  unable  to  take  down  his 
original  text  correctly;  he  does  not  comprehend  what  is 
before  him,  copies  mechanically  and  imperfectly  characters 
unfamiliar  to  him,  omits  others,  and  thus  produces  an  im- 
perfect version,  which  even  a  learned  Chinese  is  unable  to 
reconstruct  in  completeness ;  the  less  so  as  the  ancient  annals 
all  are  in  that  very  tersest  of  the  then  still  comparatively 
undeveloped  Chinese  language,  in  which  every  character  is 
absolutely  indispensable  to  the  comprehension  of  the  context 
As  to  the  probability  of  such  a  conversation  being  imagined, 
and  a  record  of  it  fabricated  in  order  to  get  money  from 
me,  I  may  first  state  that  it  was  brought  to  me  by  a  man 
who  had  been  eight  years  in  my  private  employ,  and  than 
whom  none  knew  better  that  I  habitually  treated  all  offers 


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126  THE   CHINESE  AND  THEIR  BEBELLIONS. 

to  furnish  fiir  money  copies  of  papers  not  at  command  of 
the  public  generally,  as  barefaced  attempts  at  imposition  ; 
and  that  I  invariably  met  such  offers,  never  with  anger,  but 
with  what  I  have  found  to  frighten  the  Chinese  rather  more, 
a  jocular  contempt  and  quizzing  ridicule.  Having  acci- 
dentally mentioned  it  to  me  after  it  had  been  some  time  in 
his  possession,  he  brought  it  at  my  request  and  was  some- 
what surprised  when  I,  having  made  official  use  of  it,  thought 
right  to  give  him  a  dollar  or  two  as  a  reward. 

When  a  mandarin  has  an  audience  like  that  detailed  here 
he  presents  what  is  called  a  leuh  le,  L  6.,  a  short  official  auto- 
biography. Now  the  Emperor  on  this  occasion  asks  several 
questions  which  the  autobiography  in  his  hand  rendered 
unnecessary ;  which  we  can  nevertheless  readily  conceive  a 
weak-sighted  septuagenarian  to  put,  but  which  a  fabricator 
of  an  imaginary  conversation  would  hardly  have  thought  of 
inditing.  As  little  would  such  a  fabricator  have  thought  of 
inventing  the  imperfections  in  the  copy,  as  well  as  some  dis- 
crepancies as  to  the  dates  here  given,  with  those  given  in 
the  Canton  reprint  of  the  Peking  Gazettes. 

I  was  personally  acquainted  with  Pih  kwei,  having  accom- 
panied him  from  Canton  to  Hong  Kong  and  back  when  he 
went  there  on  official  business  with  Sir  John  Davis.  On 
this,  and  other  occasions,  I  had  long  conversations  with  him, 
and  can  perfectly  understand  his,  with  his  state  of  know- 
ledge or  rather  ignorance  of  foreigners,  giving  such  answers 
to  the  Emperor  as  are  here  put  in  his  mouth.* 

Lastly,  there  was  no  political  purpose  to  serve  in  playing 
a  record  into  my  hands,  about  eighteen  months  after  it  had 

*  He  is  one  real  member  of  what  M.  Hue  calls  the  *'  high  society  *  of 
China  with  whom  I  have  had  an  acquaintance.  I  knew  him  just  before  he  was 
made  Criminal  Judge ;  at  the  time  I  made  the  following  translation  he  had  risen 
to  the  Superintendency  of  Finances;  and  he  is  now  Govemor  of  the  prorince  of 
Kwang  tung.  I  may  add  that  in  his  case,  as  in  the  case  of  still  higher  mandarins 
whom  I  hare  talked  with  for  hours,  I  was  not  a  prisoner,  or  in  any  way  anxious 
about  myself,  but  in  every  case  the  cool  observer  of  men,  occupied  at  the  time 
with  afEhiTB  on  which  their  future  career  very  much  depended. 


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COKTEBSATIONS  OF  THE  EMPEROR.  127 

taken  place,  of  a  conversation  then  of  no  significance^  and 
-valuable  only  as  an  illustration  of  manners  and  character. 

From  the  above  I  hope  that  the  reader,  besides  getting 
some  information  on  certain  interesting  rules  and  customs  of 
the  Chinese,  will  have  concluded :  That  some  conversations 
must  have  been  held;  that  a  record  of  the  conversations 
would  be  kept;  and  that  the  following  is,  in  exact  colloquial 
style,  a  record  of  the  conversations  that  was  kept,  imperfect 
indeed,  but  quite  genuine  and  authentic  as  far  as  it  goes. 

With  the  knowledge  of  still  more  arguments  in  its  favour 
than  I  have  been  able  to  give  above,  I  venture  to  put  the 
following  in  print  as  the  record  of  some  conversations  about 
the  English  that  took  place  in  Peking  on  the  24th,  25th, 
26th,  and  27th  days  of  October,  1849,  between  the  late 
Chinese  Emperor  Taou  kwang  and  his  mandarin  Pih  kwei» 
the  then  Criminal  Judge  of  the  province  of  Kwang  tung. 


[translation.] 

(Colloquial)  Record  of  the  Discourse  addressed  hy  His  Imperial  Majesty  to 
His  Excellency t  Pih  hcei,  the  present  Superintendent  of  Finances, 

29th  Year  of  Taou  kwang. ^^ Audience  of  the  9th  day. 

Emperor.  Where  did  I  place  you  as  Criminal  Judge? 

Answer.  In  Kwang  tung. 

Emperor.  Ah,  in  Kwang  tung. 

Answer.  Yes,  Sire. 

Emperor.  From  what  station  had  you  been  promoted  up 
to  that  post  ? 

Answer.  From  that  of  district  magistrate  in  Kwang  tung. 

Emperor.  You  are  a  licentiate,  or  a  doctor,  are  you  not? 

Answer.  I  am  a  licentiate  and  was  promoted  to  a  district 
magistracy  for  my  services  on  a  committee  (in  the  capital). 

Emperor.  How  many  places  have  you  held  office  in  ? 


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128  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  BEBELLIONS. 

Answer.  In  the  Lung  mun,  Tsin  ming  and  Tung  kwan 
districts,  from  which  latter  I  was  promoted  on  the  recom- 
mendation of  the  high  provincial  officers  to  the  prefecture  of 
the  Nan  heung  department. 

Emperor.  Did  you  never  leave  the  province? 

An8wer.  In  the  26th  year  (1846)  I  had  the  honour  to  be 
appcHnted  by  your  Majesty's  divine  favour,  prefect  of  the 
Sew  chow  department  in  Sze  chuen. 

Emperor.  How  many  years  were  you  in  Sze  chuen  ? 

Answer.  Your  slave  was  10  months  in  Sze  chuen,  when 
by  Your  Majesty's  divine  favour  I  was  appointed  Grain 
Collector  of  Kwang  tung. 

Emperor.  Ah  I  I  sent  you  back  again.  So,  with  the 
exception  of  ten  months,  you  have  during  upwards  of  ten 
years,  been  the  whole  time  in  Kwang  tung. 

Answer.  Yes,  Sire. 

Emperor.  Seu  kwang  tsin^  recommended  you  for  em- 
ployment in  barbarian  afiairs :  did  Ke  yingf  ever  employ  you 
in  that  way  ? 

Answer.  Never,  Sire. 

Emperor.  Then  Seu  kwang  tsin  has  never  employed 
any  of  the  persons  employed  by  Ke  ying  ?  These  few  years 
past  the  barbarian  affairs  have  almost  frightened  Ke  ying  to 
death.  The  people  who  have  assisted  him  in  their  transac- 
tion have  done  nothing  but  overrate  the  importance  of  these 
matters,  so  that  Ke  ying,  constantly  getting  frightened,  and 
listening  to  all  their  talk,  extended  the  great  fame  of  the 
barbarians.  He  always  said  that  Hwang  an  tung  %  was  good 
at  business.  This  he  has  not  only  stated  in  writing,  but 
even  this  year,  at  an  audience  said  that  the  barbarian  affiurs 
could  only  be  managed  by  Hwang  an  tung.  He  also  said 
that  the  disposition  of  the  people  was  bad.    Now  how  well 

•  The  then  Qoyemor  Qenenl  of  Kwangiimg  and  Kwangse. 

t  The  previouB  Goremor  GeneraL 

}  Hwang  an  tung  was  a  Shantung  Chinese,  who  held  a  high  peat  at  Nanking 
when  the  Treaty  was  conclnded.  He  was  Ke  ying's  right  hand  man,  and  the  real 
negotiator  of  the  Treaty. 


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CONYEBSATIONS  OF  THE  EMPEROR.  129 

Seu  kwang  tain  and  his  assistantB  have  managed  I  Without 
striking  a  single  blow  thej^  in  one  month,  got  on  foot  an 
oiganized  body  of  upwards  of  100,000  men,  and  got  to- 
gether some  hundred  thousands  of  taels  for  the  expenses. 
It  is  plain,  since  the  people  behave  so  well,  there  can  be 
no  wonder  that  these  fellows,  Hwang  an  tung  and  Chaou 
chang  ling,*  were  openly  and  specially  declared  by  them 
to  be  great  Chinese  traitors.  Besides,  at  that  time  native 
bandits  were  also  disturbing  the  country.  I  forget  in  what 
place? 

Answer.   In  Tsing  yuen  and  Ying  tih. 

Emperor.  Quite  right.  You  [Seu  and  his  party]  settled 
all  these  affiiirs.  It  appears  to  me  that  the  barbarians  depend 
entirely  on  Kwang  tung  for  gaining  their  livelihood. 

Answer.  The  people  of  Kwang  tung  thoroughly  see  that 
the  barbarians  cannot  do  without  that  province. 

Emperor.  Exactly  so.  What  others  are  employed  in  the 
transaction  of  barbarian  affairs  ? 

Answer.  The  expectant  intendants ;  Heu  tseang  kwang 
and  Woo  tsung  yaou  [Howqua]. 

Emperor.  Are  you  a  Manchoo  or  Mongolian  bannerman  ? 
What  banner  do  you  belong  to  ? 

Answer.   The  Mongolian  yellow  banner. 

Emperor.  Who  was  it  that  recommended  you  for  promo- 
tion in  the  service  ? 

Answer.  The  former  Governor  General,  Ke  Kung,  [who 
retired  from  office  in  March  1844] 

Emperor.  Have  the  English  barbarians  of  late  been 
reduced  in  power  or  not  ? 

Answer.   They  appear  to  be  somewhat  reduced. 

Emperor.  Do  the  soldiers  at  Hong  Kong  amount  to  three 
or  four  thousand  ? 

Answer.  Not  more  than  two  or  three  thousand,  the  greater 
half  of  whom  are  really  but  nominal.  The  greater  half  of 
the  green  clothed  soldiers  [Ceylon  Rifles?]  have  dispersed 

*  Another  Ckinue  mandarin  and  able  assistant  of  Ke  ying. 
K 


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130  THE  CHINESE  AKD  THEIR  BEBELUOKS. 

on  account  of  the  insufficiency  of  the  funds  for  the  troops. 
Trade  does  not  flourish  at  Ningpo,  and  those  ports. 

Emperor.  I  have  heard  that  it  is  not  good  at  Ningpo  and 
Amoj^  and  at  Shanghae  too.  From  this  we  see  that  pro- 
sperity is  always  followed  by  decay. 

Answer.  The  English  barbarians  were  in  a  bad  state  last 
year  in  their  own  country,  where  they  were  visited  by 
an  epidemic;  and  in  Hong  Kong  last  year  upwards  of  a 
thousand  people  died  from  the  hot  exhalations. 

Emperor.  In  all  afiairs  prosperity  is  followed  by  decay ! 
What  avails  the  power  of  man ! 

Answer.  Your  Majesty's  divine  fortune  is  the  cause  [of 
the  decay  of  the  English  power]. 

Emperor.  You  are  a  bannerman,  one  born  and  brought 
up  in  the  capital,  and  must  know  the  common  saying  of  the 
old  women :  A  thousand  schemes,  ten  thousand  schemes  [of 
man]  are  not  worth  one  scheme  of  Old  Heaven  [du  bon 
dieu]. 

Answer.  Yes,  Sire. 

Emperor.   To-morrow  present  your  name  for  an  audience. 

Audience  of  the  \Qih  day. 

Emperor.  It  is  hard  to  get  good  people.  You,  as  Criminal 
Judge,  have  not  yet  entered  on  the  duties  of  your  post.*  I, 
of  my  own  accord,  appoint  you  Superintendent  of  Finances. 
It  was  my  wish  to  employ  you  ;  and  so  I  had  you  called  in, 
that  I  might  judge  of  you.  On  seeing  you  yesterday  I  con- 
sidered you  a  very  proper  man;  and,  finding  from  your 
official  autobiography  that  you  are  not  at  all  young,  I  thought 
you  ought  at  once  to  be  employed  without  reference  to 
your  seniority.  You  must  be  consistent  in  your  conduct, 
and  not  show  yourself  forgetful  of  my  kindness. 

Answer.  I  shall  most  certainly  never  dare  to  be  for- 
getful of  Your  Majesty's  divine  favour. 

•  There  is  a  discrepancy.  He  had  preyioosly  been  two  months  in  Cant<m  as 
Criminal  Judge.  (This  and  the  following  notes  were  appended  to  the  official 
translation ) 


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CONVEBSATIONS  OF  THE  EMPEBOR.  131 

Emperor,  It  constantly  happens  that  those  who  have 
behaved  well  in  the  first  part  of  their  career  behave  ill  in 
the  last;  that  those  who  are  not  haughty  of  themselves 
become  haughty ;  those  who  are  not  extravagant,  of  them- 
selves become  extravagant.  The  historical  classic  says: 
In  good  government  permanency  is  esteemed.  You  must 
know  this.  You  have  been  most  intimately  connected  with 
the  Governor  General  and  the  Governor,  and  it  is  impossible 
that  you  should  be  inefficient  in  the  transaction  of  business. 
Now  in  all  business  the  superiors  must  not  seek  merely 
to  gain  the  approbation  of  their  subordinates.  If  they  get 
all  their  subordinates  to  praise  them,  they  will  certainly 
have  left  themselves  without  the  power  of  rousing  the 
latter  to  exertions.  I  am  not  wishing  you  to  treat 
them  harshly.  The  annals  of  Tse^  say  of  Tse  chan,  ''Who 
will  kill  him  ;  who  is  there  to  take  his  place.'*  [Here  follows 
a  passage  forming  apparently  some  twelve  or  thirteen  sen- 
tences, but  containing  in  the  copy  furnished  me  so  many 
false  characters  and  evident  omissions  that  educated  and 
well  read  Chinese  cannot  see  their  way  with  sufficient 
clearness  as  to  be  able  confidently  to  correct  the  one  and 
supply  the  other.  It  can,  however,  be  made  out  that  the 
Emperor  was  inculcating  the  advantage  of  being  severe, 
though  not  harsh,  in  the  discharge  of  official  duties,  and 
that  he  had  illustrated  his  subject  by  reference  to  several 
historical  personages  as  the  Tse  chan  above  named ;  Kwan 
chung  a  minister  of  the  Tse  earldom  in  the  seventh  century 
before  Christ;  Ling  seang  joo,  an  officer  of  the  Chaou  princi- 
pality,  who,  about  280  b.c.,  undertook  a  dangerous  mission 
to  the  sovereign  of  Tsin,  &c.]     •    •     •     .     Besides,  as  the 

*  One  of  the  Five  Clanicfl.  Tsze  chan  was  a  minister  of  the  principality 
called  Chin  (the  present  proyince  of  Honan)  who  was  seyeie,  but  atrictly  juat  in 
hia  measures.  .The  first  year  of  his  administration  the  people  cried,  "  Who  wiU 
kill  Tsze  chan,  we  will  join  them/'  in  the  third  year  his  measures  had  borne 
such  good  fruits  that  they  said,—"  If  Tsze  chan  dies  who  is  there  to  take  his 
place."  To  Tsie  chan  is  attributed  the  rise  of  the  Chin  principality  to  its 
most  flourishing  state. 

K  2 


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132  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

expenses  of  the  Goyernment  necessitate  the  opening  of  a 
path  [for  those  who  wish  to  rise  by  purchase]  it  is  more 
difficult  than  ever  to  make  a  distinction  between  the  wise 
and  the  stupid.  However,  as  the  Han  lin  collie  itself 
cannot  be  quite  free  from  low  minded  people,  so  among 
officials  bj  purchase  there  cannot  but  be  some  of  high 
character.  Only  there  is  one  thing  I  have  to  remark — ^you 
are  not  an  officer  by  purchase,  otherwise  I  should  not  say  it — 
among  great,  rich  merchants  are  some  enormously  stupid, 
ignorant  of  all  kinds  of  business,  who  have  not  even  acted  as 
assistant  magistrates;  who  as  the  proverb  says  ''Know  only 
a  saucer  full  of  characters  though  they  may  be  as  big  as 
lychees,''  and  who  should  on  no  account  pass.  Your  place, 
as  provincial  superintendent  of  finances,*  is  a  permanent  one, 
and  you  must  be  sure  not  to  pass  over  their  short-coming,  as 
may  have  been  done  hitherto  by  others.  To-morrow  present 
your  name  again  for  an  audience. 

Attdience  on  the  Wth  day. 

Emperor.  Do  you  think  from  the  appearance  of  things 
in  Kwang  tung  that  the  English  barbarians  or  any  other 
people  will  cause  trouble  again  ? 

Answer.  No.  England  itself  has  got  nothing,  and  when 
the  English  barbarians  rebelled  in  1841  they  depended 
entirely  on  the  power  of  the  other  nations  who,  with  a  view 
to  open  trade,  supported  them  with  fiinds.  In  the  present 
year  the  [Here  follow  two  words  which  do  not  make  sense 
with  the  context,  "  teen  te,"  literally,  **laws  and  territory;" 
probably  **  subject  territories  "  were  the  words  used]  of 
England  yield  her  no  willing  obedience. 

Emperor.  It  is  plain  from  this  that  these  barbarians 
always  look  on  trade  as  their  chief  occupation;  and  are 
wanting  in  any  high  purpose  of  striving  for  territorial 
acquisitions. 

*  This  oflBcer  has  considerable  influence  on  the  career  of  the  civilians  in  his 
prorinoe. 


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CONVEBSATIONS  OF  THE  EMPEROR.  133 

Answer*.  At  bottom  they  belong  to  the  class  of  brutes ; 
(dogs  and  horses;)  it  is  impossible  they  should  have  any 
high  purpose. 

Emperor,  Hence  in  their  country  they  have  now  a 
woman^  now  a  man  as  their  prince  (wang).  It  is  plain  they 
are  not  worth  attending  to.  Have  they  got  like  us  any 
fixed  time  of  service  for  their  soldier's  head^  Bonham  ? 

Answer.  Some  are-  changed  once  in  two  years,  some  once 
in  three  years.  Although  it  is  the  prince  of  these  barbarians 
who  sends  them^  they  are,  in  reality,  recommended  by  the 
body  of  their  merchants. 

Emperor.  What  goods  do  the  French  trade  in? 

Answer.  The  wares  of  the  barbarians  are  only  camlets, 
woollen  cloth,  clocks,  watches,  cottons  and  the  like.  All 
the  countries  have  got  them,  good  or  bad. 

Emperor.  What  country's  goods  are  dearest  ? 

Answer.  They  have  all  got  both  dear  and  cheap.  There  is 
no  great  difference  in  their  prices  [of  similar  articles] ;  only, 
with  respect  to  the  camlets,  the  French  are  said  to  be  the 
best. 

Emperor.  China  has  no  want  of  silk  fabrics  and  cottons, 
what  necessity  is  there  for  using  foreign  cottons  in  parti- 
cular? For  instance,  wrappers*  can  be  made  of  yellow,  or 
pale  yellow  [for  the  palace],  and  people  outside  could  use 
Nankin  clotli  coloured,  or  blue  ones.  This  would  look 
simple  and  unaffected;  but  lately  foreign  flowered  cottons 
have  come  into  use  which  look  very  odd.  Others  use 
foreign  cottons  for  shirts.  Now  observe  me — the  highest  of 
men — my  shirts  and  inner  garments  are  all  made  of  Corean 
cottons.     I  have  never  used  foreign  cottons.  ^ 

Answer.  Foreign  cotton  cloth  has  no  substance  [literally 
bone],  it  is  not  good  for  clothing. 

Emperor.  And  it  does  not  wash  well. 

•  The  handkercfaieis  imported  into  China  are  not  used  for  the  nose,  bat  to 
vrmp  np  articles  which  are  too  balky  to  be  carried  in  the  sleeye  and  which  an 
Englishman  would  pat  in  his  coat  pocket. 


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184  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

Answer.  Yes,  Sire. 

Emperor.  I  suppose  opium  is  bought  and  sold  quite 
openly  in  Kwang  tung. 

Answer.  I  should  not  dare  to  deceive  Your  Majesty — 
people  do  not  dare  to  buy  and  sell  it  openly,  but  there  is  no 
small  quantity  bought  and  sold  secretly. 

Emperor.  It  appears  to  me  that  in  this  matter  too,  there 
must  be  a  flourishing  period,  and  a  period  of  decay.  Even 
if  I  were  to  inflict  severe  punishments ;  I  might  punish  to 
day,  and  punish  again  to-morrow,  and  all  without  benefit. 
If  we  wait  for  two  or  three  years — for  five  or  six  years^ 
it  will  of  course  fall  into  disuse  of  itself. 

Answer.  Certainly,  Sire. 

Emperor.  How  is  it  with  the  levying  and  payment  of  the 
taxes  in  Kwang  tung  ?  How  do  matters  stand  as  to  defi- 
ciencies in  the  district  treasuries? 

Answer.  In  Kwang  tung  the  fixed  regular  land  tax  is 
paid  up  annually ;  as  to  the  miscellaneous  taxes, — I  do  not 
dare  to  deceive  Your  Majesty, — ^there  must  have  been  some 
appropriated  for  public  purposes.* 

Emperor.  Can  these  appropriations  not  be  avoided  then  ? 
You  will  do  very  well  for  a  superintendent  of  finances. 
To-morrow  present  your  name  for  an  audience. 

Audience  on  the  \2th  day. 

Emperor.  In  your  opinion  is  opium  dearer  or  cheaper 
now  than  in  former  years  ?  (Smiling.)  You  don't  smoke  it 
— I  fear  you  cannot  tell. 

Answer.  The  local  gentry  and  literati  of  whom  I  have 
inquired,  state  that  opium  is  very  cheap  at  present. 

Emperor.   Indeed.    Why  is  it  cheap  ? 

Answer.  Because  its  quality  is  not  equal  to  what  it'  was 
formerly. 

Emperor.   This,  now,  is  an  example  of  prosperity  and 

*  That  U  to  Bay  for  local  purposes ;  and  not  placed  to  the  credit  of  the  Im* 
perial  Treasury. 


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CONVERSATIONS  OP  THE  EMPEROR.  135 

decay  I  How  could  Heaven  and  Earth  long  endure  an  article 
80  destructive  to  human  life.  So,  in  the  consumption  of 
tobacco  the  Kwang  tung  leaf  being  strong  tasted,  the  Sing 
tsze  weak,  those  who  have  accustomed  themselves  to  the 
strong  do  not  of  course  like  the  weak.  Do  you  think  that 
in  future  the  English  barbarians  in  Hong  Kong  will  go  on 
quietly  or  not? 

Answer.  The  English  barbarians  have  gone  to  great  ex- 
penses in  building  houses  with  the  view  of  permanently 
residing  there,  and  living  in  quiet.  Besides  the  people  of 
Hong  Kong  and  its  neighbourhood^  took  at  an  early  period 
an  aversion  to  these  barbarians ;  and  local  bandits  have  long 
been  waiting,  their  mouths  watering  for  the  place.  The  bar- 
barians are  therefore  constantly  in  dread,  fearing  they  may 
lose  it. 

Emperor.  So  they  have  added  to  their  troubles  by  ^ving 
themselves  another  internal  care.  However,  notwithstanding 
this,  they  have  always  got  their  own  country  for  a  haunt 
[literally  nest  and  den,  expressions  frequently  applied  to  the 
capitals  of  foreign  sovereigns]. 

Answer.  Yes,  Sire. 

Emperor.  Have  the  Governor  General  and  the  Governor 
any  difference  of  opinion  or  not? 

Answer.  Your  slave  intreats  Your  Majesty  to  set  Your 
Sacred  mind  at  rest — the  Governor  General  and  the  Governor 
not  only  transact  their  business  in  strict  good  faith,  but  in  all 
cases  without  disagreement. 

Emperor.  That  is  welL  What  is  wanted  is  agreement; 
irequently  the  Governor  General  and  the  Governor  in  the 
some  province  are  at  variance. 

Answer.  Your  slave,  during  the  many  years  he  has  been 
in  Kwang  tung,  has  never  witnessed  so  much  concord  between 
the  Governor  General  and  the  Governor. 

Emperor.  They  are  both  in  their  best  years,  just  the  time 
for  exertion ;  they  ought  to  do  their  utmost  physically  and 
mentally.     It  is  right  too  that  you  and  the  criminal  judge, 


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136  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

their  immediate  subordinates;  when  you  leom  anything  of 
which  you  fear  they  may  not  be  thoroughly  informed,  should 
tell  them  all  you  know.  Are  you  acquainted  with  the  newly 
appointed  judge  Ke  shuh  tsaou  ? 

Answer.  No,  Sire. 

Emperor.  He  is  a  very  honesty  sincere,  and  unaffected 
mauj  as  you  will  know  after  you  have  passed  half  a  year  in 
the  same  place  with  him.  You  can  make  ready  for  your 
departure.     How  long  will  you  be  on  the  journey  ? 

Answer.  Upwards  of  two  months. 

Emperor.  I  reckon  that  you  will  arrive  about  the  end  of 
the  11th  or  the  beginning  of  the  12th  month.  Or  allowing 
a  few  days  more  you  will  reach  Canton  about  the  middle  of 
the  12th  month. 

True  translation. 

(Signed)  Thos.  Taylor  Meadows, 

22nd  March,  1851.  Interpreter. 


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MEASUEBS  OP  THE  IMPERIAL  AUTHORITIES.  137 


CHAPTER  XII. 

MEASURES  OF  THE  IMPERIAL  AUTHORITIES  AGAINST  THE 
KWANGSE  CHRISTIANS;  AND  THE  TRANSFORMATION  OF 
THESE   INTO    RELIGIOUS   POLITICAL   REBELS. 

The  old  Emperor  whose  honest  wish  to  govern  well,  I — let 
me  state  in  passing — never  heard  the  Chinese  question,  had 
not  simply  the  fortunes  of  the  English  on  his  mind  when 
he  twice  emphatically  employed  the  stereotyped  phrase  of 
Chinese  history,  "  Shing,  tsih  peik  yew  shwae — Prosperity 
is  necessarily  followed  by  decay."  The  fate  of  his  own  house 
occupied  his  thoughts.  But  it  was  a  true  instinct  that  led 
him  to  make  repeated  and  anxious  inquiries  as  to  the  position 
of  the  English  and  the  likelihood  of  their  "  giving  trouble  " 
again.  We  have  indeed  been  the  fated  instruments  of  ruin 
to  the  Manchoo  family.  Even  our  attempts  to  help  it  have 
proved  baneful.  On  the  very  day  before  the  above  conversa- 
tions commenced  in  Peking,  a  British  squadron  at  the  other 
extremity  of  the  Empire  had  finally  driven  some  two  thousand 
pirates,  a  body  of  the  most  hardy  and  daring  coastlanders  of 
South  Eastern  China,  from  their  predatory  life  on  the  sea  to 
a  similar  life  on  shore;  where  they,  combined  with  the 
bandits  already  in  existence,  at  once  formed  a  force  strong 
enough  to  keep  the  field  as  rebels  avowedly  aiming  at 
dynastic  changes.  On  the  23rd  October,  1849,  fifty-eight 
vessels  of  a  pirate  fleet  were  destroyed  in  a  bay  on  the 
confines  of  China  and  Cochin  China  by  a  British  naval  force. 
But  the  crews  escaped  mostly  on  shore,  carrying  their  arms 
with  them,  though  the  vessels  were  destroyed,  and  a  few  of 


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138  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  REBELLIONS. 

the  junks  even  got  off.  That  men  accustomed  to  the  life 
they  had  hitherto  led  would  take  to  any  regular  civil  occupa- 
tion was  in  the  last  degree  improbable ;  and  accordingly  we 
find  from  the  Peking  Gazette  that  a  formidable  body  of 
rebels  was  waging  open  war  with  the  forces  of  the  local 
government  in  the  southern  borders  of  Kwang  se,  about  a  few 
days'  march  from  the  spot  where  the  pirate  fleet  was  destroyed, 
and  in  less  than  a  month  after  that  event.  From  that  time  to 
the  present — a  period  now  of  five  years — avowed  rebellion 
has  continued  and  spread  in  China. 

Piracy  is  both  a  sign  and  a  cause  of  weakness  in  the 
Chinese  Government.  But  it  is  not  a  cause  of  primary  im- 
portance ;  for  it  is  on  the  mainland  of  China  only  that  rebel- 
lions leading  to  dynastic  changes  can  be  organized.  But 
what  piracy  was  not,  and  could  of  itself  hardly  have  become, 
an  immediate  cause  of  the  outbreak  of  a  dangerous  rebellion, 
that  it  became  when  the  British  interfered  with  it ;  a  circum- 
stance peculiarly  instructive  as  to  our  ability  to  perceive  the 
consequences  of  taking  a  side  in  the  disputes  of  the  Chinese 
among  themselves.  It  is  somewhat  consolatory  to  think 
that  in  our  interference  with  the  rovers  on  the  Chinese 
coasts,  we  were  less  moved  by  a  spirit  of  busy  body  inter- 
meddling, than  by  legitimate  anxieties  for  the  safety  of  our 
merchant  vessels,  whose  valuable  cargoes  offered  tempting 
prizes. 

The  bandit  rebels  with  whom  the  ex-pirates  associated 
themselves  were  nearly  all  kih  keas,  "  strangers,"  or  members 
of  the  secondary  immigrations  of  the  Chinese  people  into 
Kwang  se  noticed  at  page  49.  Now  it  was  among  these 
same  kih  keas  that  Hung  sew  tseuen  and  Fung  yun  san 
had  made  the  most  of  their  converts;  a  fact  sufliciently 
accounted  for  by  the  circumstance  of  similarity  of  dialect, 
the  kih  kea  immigration  into  Kwang  se  having  proceeded 
from  Kwang  tung.  It  will  be  remembered  that  when  Hung 
sew  tseuen  first  went  to  Kwang  se,  he  sought  out  '^  a  rela- 
tive "  there,  probably  some  descendant  of  a  member  of  the 


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MEASURES  OF  THE  IMPERIAL  AUTHORITIES.  139 

Hung  family  that  had  emigrated  to  Kwang  se  in  a  former 
generation.  Apart  from  the  fact  that  the  robber  bands 
throughout  the  province  were  composed  mainly  of  kih  keas^ 
a  feeling  of  enmity  has  always  existed  between  the  kih  keas 
generally  and  the  Puntes  or  old  Kwang  se  Chinese.  A 
dispute  about  the  possession  t)f  a  girl  in  marriage  led  to  a 
species  of  civil  war  between  these  two  parties  in  the  very 
district^  that  of  Kwei,  in  which  the  society  of  the  Godwor- 
shippers  had  originated. 

*^  At  that  time  a  very  rich  kih  kea  had  taken  as  his  concu-* 
bine  a  girl  who  had  been  promised  in  marriage  to  a  Punte 
man;  and  having  agreed  to  settle  the  matter  with  her 
parents  by  paying  a  large  sum  of  money,  he  peremptorily 
refused  to  give  her  up  to  the  Punte  claimant.  At  the  office 
of  the  district  magistrate  numerous  petitions  and  accusations 
were  daily  lodged  against  the  kih  kea  population  so  that  the 
mandarins  were  unable  to  settle  all  their  disputes.  It  seems 
even  probable  that  the  mandarins  wished  to  escape  the 
trouble ;  and  if  the  report  be  true,  they  advised  the  Punte 
population  themselves  to  enforce  their  rights  against  the  kih 
keas.  The  result  was,  that  soon  after,  between  the  Puntes 
and  kih  keas  of  the  Kwei  district,  a  civil  war  commenced,  in 
which  a  number  of  villages  gradually  became  involved.  The 
fighting  began  on  the  28th  of  the  eighth  month  (3rd  October, 
1850),  and  during  the  first  few  days  the  kih  keas  had  the 
advantage,  no  doubt  because  they  were  more  accustomed 
to  warfares,  and  probably  counted  robbers  by  profession 
among  their  number.  Gradually,  however,  the  Puntes  grew 
bolder  and  more  experienced,  and  as  their  number  was  con- 
siderably larger  than  that  of  their  opponents,  they  defeated 
the  kih  keas,  and  burnt  their  houses,  so  that  the  latter  had 
no  resting  place  to  which  they  could  resort.  In  their  distress 
they  sought  refuge  among  the  worshippers  of  God,  who  at 
that  time  lived  dispersed  in  several  districts,  in  congrega* 
tions  counting  from  100  to  300  individuals.  They  willingly 
submitted  to  any  form  of  worship  in  order  to  escape  from 


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140  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

their  enemies  and  receive  the  necessary  supplies  of  which 
they  were  now  destitute. 

"  Up  to  this  period,  the  worshippers  of  God  had  not  stood 
in  any  connexion  whatever  with  the  robbers  or  outlaws  of 
the  province.  The  mandarin  soldiers,  during  their  excursions 
in  search  of  the  robbers,  never  interfered  with  the  members 
of  the  congregations,  or  suspected  the  brethren  of  having 
any  other  but  religious  motives  for  assembling  together.  But 
now,  when  not  only  from  the  distressed  villages,  but  also  from 
the  bands  of  robbers  dispersed  by  the  mandarin  soldiers, 
large  flocks  of  people,  old  and  young,  men  and  women  with 
their  children,  and  their  property,  joined  the  congregations, 
matters  could  no  longer  go  on  as  before.  A  rupture  and 
collision  with  the  mandarins  became  inevitable." 

On  the  25th  of  the  February  preceding  these  occurrences 
the  old  Emperor  Taou  kwang  had  died,  and  was  succeeded 
by  his  fourth  son,  Hecn  fung,  a  youth  under  twenty.  la 
June  or  July  preceding  the  same  occurrences,  very  soon 
after  the  news  of  the  Emperor's  death — which  was  kept 
secret  for  some  time — could  have  reached  him,  Hung  sew 
tseuen  sent  three  of  the  brethren  with  letters,  and  summoned 
his  family  and  nearer  relatives  generally  to  join  him ;  which 
they  all  did. 

Without  attaching  too  much  importance  to  the  literal 
account  given  in  Mr.  Hamberg's  book  of  Hung  sew  tseuen*s 
utterances  at  this  period,  which  could  only  reach  Mr.  Ham- 
berg's  informant  at  second  or  third  hand ; — and  without  feeling 
bound  to  give  implicit  credence  to  the  statement  that  Hung 
sew  tseuen*s  "  discerning  eye  had  foreseen  all "  these  events 
favouring  rebellion,  that  "  his  prediction  was  now  fulfilled '' 
and  that  '^he  hod  formed  his  plans,"  it  is  certain  that  all 
the  circumstances  combined  lead  to  the  conclusion  that  he 
must  have  now  begun  seriously  to  revolve  in  his  mind  the 
possibility  of  effecting  a  political,  as  well  as  religious  change, 
and  the  advisability  of  taking  to  arms  to  effect  it. 

As  an  educated  and  patriotic  Chinese  he  could,  I  must 


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MEASURES  OF  THE  IMPERIAL  AUTHORITIES.  141 

repeat,  have  no  doubt  whatever  of  his  right  to  expel  the 
Manchoos  hj  force  of  arms,  the  more  especially  as  their 
weakness  and  misrule  had  subjected  the  country  around  him 
to  robbery  and  anarchy.  On  the  question:  Ought  I,  or 
ought  I  not,  he  would  waste  no  time.  He  would  simply  ask 
himself:  Can  I,  or  can  I  not  ?  Now,  it  appears  that  already 
**  the  worshippers  of  God  had  felt  the  necessity  of  uniting  to- 
gether for  common  defence  against  their  enemies ;  they  had 
began  to  convert  their  property  of  fields  and  houses  into 
money,  and  to  deliver  the  proceeds  thereof  into  the  general 
treasury  from  which  all  shared  alike,  every  one  receiving 
his  food  and  clothing  from  this  fund."  Hung  sew  tseuen  saw 
himself,  therefore,  at  the  head  of  several  thousands  of  people, 
moat  intimately  bound  together  by  community  of  religious 
beliefs  and  worldly  interests.  He  saw  all  round  him  bodies 
of  bandit-rebels  who,  though  having  no  such  bonds  of  inti« 
mate  union  among  themselves,  and  therefore  being  liable  to 
be  destroyed  in  detail  by  the  forces  of  the  existing  govern- 
ment, would,  nevertheless,  when  grouped  around  the  moral 
and  intellectual  nucleus  formed  by  him  and  his  co-religionists, 
form  a  great  source  of  physical  strength. 

Notwithstanding  all  this,  the  fact  remains,  and  it  was  a 
fact  better  appreciable  by  Hung  sew  tseuen  then,  than  by  us 
now,  that  he  could  only  rely  on  the  assistance  of  some  10 
or  15  thousand  men  at  most,  wherewith  to  commence,  in  a 
remote  comer  of  the  vast  Chinese  Empire,  the  overthrow  of  a 
family  which  had  ruled  over  it  for  200  years ;  which  had  in 
the  course  of  that  period  crushed  several  formidable  attempts 
to  oust  it;  and  which  always  had  for  its  support  some 
hundreds  of  thousands  of  bom  and  trained  soldiers  of  its 
own  race.  These  general  considerations  joined  to  certain 
circumstances  mentioned  in  Mr.  Hamberg's  work,  and  to  the 
statements  of  one  of  the  Imperialist  leaders  whom  I  met  at 
Nanking,  have  led  me  to  the  confident  conclusion  that  it  was 
by  dire  necessity  alone  that  Hung  sew  tseuen  was  imme- 
diately constrained  to  add  the  character  and  fimctions  of 


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142  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  REBELLIONS. 

patriotic  insurgent  to  those  of  religious  reformer.      The 
question  was :  Have  I  anj  choice  ?    Must  I  not? 

He  perceived  in  fact  about  this  time  that  he  and  his  co- 
religionists would  certainly  fall  victims  to  the  natural  suspi- 
cions,  and  the  consequent  persecutions  of  the  authorities, 
unless  they  took  to  arms  in  self-defence.  The  first  of  his 
converts  in  Kwang  se,  the  son  of  his  relative  with  whom  he 
had  lodged  on  arriving  there,  an  ardent  youth  and  a  some- 
what rash  aud  imperious  destroyer  of  idols,  was  thrown  into 
the  district  prison  and  killed  there  by  neglect  and  ill  treat- 
ment caused  by  the  influence  of  the  graduate  Wang,  the  old 
enemy  of  the  Godworshippers.  Subsequently  the  authorities 
made  a  direct  attempt  to  seize  Hung  sew  tseuen  himself  and 
Fung  yun  san,  as  the  originators  of  a  society  now  ^^not  only 
accused  of  interfering  with  the  religious  worship  of  others, 
and  destroying  the  idols,  but  also  of  favouring  the  outlaws 
and  secretly  fostering  rebellious  designs  against  the  govern- 
ment." Aware  of  the  danger  impending  over  them,  they  had 
led  the  chief  seat  of  the  society  at  Thistle-mount  and  retired, 
with  a  few  followers,  to  concealment  in  the  house  of  a  friend 
situated  in  a  mountain  recess  from  which  there  was  only  one 
narrow  path  to  the  open  country.  The  mandarins  having 
got  information  of  their  retreat  stationed  soldiers  to  watch 
the  pass ;  and  Hung  sew  tseuen  and  his  followers  would  in 
all  probability  have  been  starved  into  surrender  here,  or  killed 
in  an  attempt  to  escape,  had  not  Yang  sew  tsing,  the  present 
"  Eastern  Prince,"  got  some  notice  of  their  critical  position. 
This  man,  whom  we  have  seen  above  assuming  the  character 
of  communicator  of  the  will  of  God  the  Father,  aud  whom  all 
our  subsequent  dealings  with,  and  information  obtained  from, 
the  rebels  at  Nanking  show  to  have  been  throughout  what  he 
now  undoubtedly  is,  the  chief  leader  of  the  movement  in  its 
political,  its  military,  and  its  fanatical  phases,  came  forward 
now  precisely  in  that  quality.  He  fell  into  one  of  his  "  states 
of  ecstasy,  revealed  to  the  brethren  of  Thistle-mount  the 
impending  danger  of  their  beloved  chiefs,  and  exhorted  them 


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MEASURES  OP  THE  IMPEBIAL  AUTHORITIES.  143 

to  hasten  to  their  rescue.  A  coDsiderable  body  of  men 
belonging  to  the  congregations  now  drew  together,  and 
marched  against  the  soldiers  who  watched  the  pass.  The 
soldiers  were  easily  beaten,  and  Hung  sew  tseuen  and  Fung 
yun  san  carried  in  triumph  from  their  place  of  seclusion.*' 
The  Godworshippers  might  have,  on  former  occasions,  fought 
as  kih  keas  with  the  Puntes  in  the  course  of  the  feuds 
between  these  two  parties  of  '^  new  "  and  ^'  old  "  Kwangse 
men ;  and  they  may  even  in  that  way  have  incidentally  been 
at  times  in  collision  with  the  government  troops.  But  this 
was  the  first  occasion  in  which  the  Godworshippers,  as  such, 
attacked  the  Imperial  forces  as  their  own  special  enemies; 
and  on  that  first  occasion  Yang  sew  tsing  characteristically 
appears  as  inspired  seer  and  successful  military  leader. 

Hung  sew  tseuen  was  then  however  virtually  what  he 
still  is  nominally ;  the  supreme  authority  and  chief.  In  this 
character  "  he  now  sent  messages  to  all  the  congregations  in 
the  different  districts  to  assemble  in  one  place.  The  cir- 
cumstance that  they  shared  all  in  common  greatly  added  to 
their  numbers,  and  made  them  ready  to  abandon  their  homes 
at  a  moment's  warning.  That  moment  had  now  arrived. 
Anicious  about  their  own  safety  and  that  of  their  families 
they  flocked  to  the  banner  of  Hung  sew  tseuen,  whom  they 
believed  appointed  by  heaven  to  be  their  chief.  Old  and 
young,  rich  and  poor,  men  of  influence  and  education,  gradu- 
ates of  the  first  and  second  degrees,  with  their  families  and 
adherents,  all  gathered  around  the  chiefs.  Wei  ching  alone 
brought  with  him  about  1000  individuals  of  his  clan."  * 

The  exact  date  of  the  occurrences  and  proceedings  just 
narrated,  I  cannot  discover,  either  from  the  rebel  publica- 
tions, Mr.  Hamberg's  book,  or  the  Peking  Gazettes;   but 

*  The  word  "  Clan "  mnst  be  taken  in  the  Bense  explained  in  the  footnote, 
page  47.  Wei  Ching  is  the  "  Korihem  Prince "  with  whom  I  had  a  long 
converBation  at  Nanking  two  and  a  half  years  after  the  events  mentioned 
in  the  text.  He  was  then  the  second  chief  man  in  real  influence  among  the 
rebels,  being  one  of  the  most  active  military  leaders,  and  the  right  hand  man 
of  the  Eastern  Prince  in  the  political  and  fanatical  moves  of  the  latter. 


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144  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  BEBELLIONS. 

a  comparison  of  the  data  in  all  three  shews  that  they  took 
place  about  the  beginning  of  October,  1850.  With  October, 
1850^  commenced,  therefore,  the  religious-political  rebellion 
which  has  been  struggling  for  the  five  years  that  have  since 
passed  to  expel  the  Manchoo,  and  establish  the  new  and 
natiye  dynj^  of  Tae  ping,  or  Universal  Peace.  For  dis- 
tinction BsSi&  I  shall  henceforth  speak  of  the  Tae  ping 
rebellion  or  insurrection  and  of  Tae  ping  adherents,  soldiers, 
officers,  armies,  &c.  Their  opponents,  consisting  of  all  those 
Chinese  who  have  hitherto  supported  the  existing  Manchoo 
dynasty,  and  of  all  Manchoos  without  exception,  I  shall  call 
Imperialists. 


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PBOCEEDINGS  OP  THE  TAE  PING  REBELS.  145 


CHAPTER  XIII. 

MILITARY  AND  POLITICAL  PROCEEDINGS  OP  THE  TAE  PING 
REBEI^  FROM  THEIR  FIRST  RISING  TILL  AFTJSI^^EIR 
OCCUPATION  OP  NANKING*  ^^ \  *^  \  »^>.. 

Previous  to  the  rising  of  the  GodworsUippers  .a^TTae  pings, 
that  is  to  say,  so  long  as  the  r^els  ^n  K!wang  se  and 
Kwang  tung  were  of  bandit  or  'Triad 'Society  origination, 
the  Imperial  Government  does  not  appear  to  have  viewed 
the  state  of  affairs  there  with  much  apprehension.  The 
Governor  General  of  the  two  provinces  was  indeed  ordered 
from  his  usual  station  in  Canton  to  the  scene  of  the  rebel- 
lious movements ;  and  two  experienced  generals,  the  after- 
wards famed  Heang  yung  and  another,  accompanied  by 
troops,  were  also  ordered  there  from  adjoining  provinces; 
but  the  chief  control  was  still  left  to  the  provincial  autho- 
rities. 

So  soon,  however,  as  the  news  reached  Peking  of  a  new 
and  larger  body  of  rebels  having  banded  themselves  together, 
we  mark  signs  of  anxiety  on  the  part  of  the  Imperial  Govern- 
ment. Lin  tsih  sen,  the  functionary  known  to  Occidentals 
as  the  anti-opium  Commissioner,  Lin,  who  was  then  living 
in  retirement  at  his  native  city  Foochow,  received  orders  to 
proceed  to  Kwang  se  with  supreme  powers  as  Imperial  Com- 
missioner. He  received  his  seal  of  office  on  the  1st  November, 
1850,  started  on  the  5th  of  that  month,  but  died  on  the  way 
on  the  21st.  On  the  intelligence  reaching  Peking,  Le  sing 
yuen,  an  ex-Governor  General  was  appointed  Imperial  Com^ 

L 


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146  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

missioner  in  his  room ;  and  Chow  teen  keo,  an  official  who 
had  also  been  Governor  General,  was  appointed  Governor  of 
Kwang  se  in  the  place  of  the  then  Governor,  who  was 
degraded  for  inefficiency.  These  appointments  were  made 
in  December,  1850.  Chow  teen  keo  had  long  been  known 
among  Roman  Catholics  for  having  put  a  foreign  missionary 
to  death,  after  having  had  him  beaten  about  the  face  till  his 
dress  was  covered  with  blood. 

The  above  were  the  only  Imperialist  Commanders  whom 
the  Tae  pings  had  opposed  to  them  during  the  first  six  months 
of  their  military  career.  But  during  these  same  months  they 
had  established  in  substance  that  political  and  military  orga- 
nization which  was  subsequently  found  among  them  at  Nan- 
king. Hung  sew  tseuen  was  already  the  "  Heavenly  Prince,** 
the  other  leaders  were  subordinate  '^Princes"  assisting  him  in 
his  divine  mission  *^  to  exterminate  the  idolatrous  and  usurping 
Manchoos ;"  and  Tae  ping  edicts  and  other  publications,  show- 
ing all  this,  had  been  forwarded  to  Peking.  These  published 
aims,  and  the  manner  in  which  they  had  been  supported,  at 
length  effectually  aroused  the  Imperial  Government.  For  the 
first  time  since  disturbances  had  commenced  in  Kwang  se, 
a  high  Manchoo,  Woo  Ian  tae.  Lieutenant  General  of  the 
Manchoo  Banner  garrison  at  Canton,  was  ordered  direct 
to  the  scene ;  and  at  the  same  time  the  Prime  Minister  of 
the  Empire,  Sae  shang  ah,  also  a  Manchoo,  was  ordered  ofip 
from  Peking  as  Chief  Imperial  Commissioner  (Le  sing  yuen 
had  died,)  and  Generalissimo,  accompanied  by  a  large  staff  of 
Manchoo  and  Mongol  officers  of  lesser,  but  still  high  rank, 
and  a  guard  of  200  Manchoo  soldiers.  These  appointments 
were  made  in  the  end  of  April,  but  it  was  not  till  the  month 
of  July  that  Sae  shang  ah  entered  Kwang  se. 

In  the  mean  time  the  Tae  ping  army  was  maintaining 
itself  at  various  positions  successively  occupied  in  the  Kwei 
ping,  Woo  seuen  and  Seang  districts.  A  district  is,  the 
reader  will  remember,  about  the  size  of  a  county.  After 
assembling  his  co-religionists  as  already  stated,  "  Hung  sew 


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PBOCEEDINGS  OP  THE  TAE  PING  REBELS.  147 

tseuen  took  possession  of  the  opulent  market  town^  where 
resided  the  above-mentioned  graduate  (the   enemy   of  the 
Godworshippers)  Wang,  whose  rich  store  of  provisions  and 
pawnshops  *  filled  with  clothes  quite  suited  the  wants  of  the 
distressed  kih  keas.     This  town  was  surrounded  by  a  broad 
river  protecting  it  from  sudden  attacks.     Here  Hung  sew 
tseuen  encamped,  fortifying  the  place,  and  before  the  man- 
darin soldiers  had  arrived  his  position  was  already  too  strong 
for  them  to  disturb.      The  Imperial  soldiers  pitched  their 
camp  at  a  respectful  distance  from  the  market  town,  and 
both  parties  carried  on  hostilities  by  firing  at  each  other  over 
the  river,  which  however  no  one  ventured  to  cross.     From 
this  place  Hung  sew  tseuen  again  sent  to  call  the  remaining 
relatives  of  his  own  clan  and  that  of  Fung  yun  san  to  join 
him  in  Kwang  se ;  but  before  they  could  reach  the  spot  he 
found  it  necessary,  from  want  of  provisions,  to  remove  his 
camp  to  another  place.     This  he  did  secretly,  having  crossed 
the  river  and  retired  in  good  order,  without  the  knowledge 
of  the  Imperialists,  who  still  supposed  him  to  be  in  the  town. 
As  soon  as  they  discovered  his  movements,  the  Imperialists 
sent  light  troops  in  his  pursuit;   but  they  venturing  too 
near  the  rear  of  Hung  sew  tseuen's  army,  were  in  their 
turn  pursued  by  his  men,  and  a  great  number  of  them 
slaughtered.   The  Imperialists  now  commenced  venting  their 
rage  on  the  deserted  market-town,  burnt  between  one  and 
two  thousand  shops,  and  plundered  wherever  they  could 
obtain  booty." 

I  beg  the  reader's  special  attention  to  the  various  cir- 
cumstances of  the  preceding  extract  from  Mr.  Hamberg's 
book ;  for  these  first  movements  of  the  Tae  ping  and  the 
Imperialist  armies  are  typical  of  the  military  proceedings 
and  strategy  of  the  whole  subsequent  war.  The  Tae  pings 
take  up  a  position  and  display  a  great  deal  of  industrial 

*  Pftwnbroken  in  CUna  hold  a  much  higher  station  than  in  England.  In 
the  smaUer  conntry  towns  they  are  usually  the  bankers ;  and  the  chief  partners 
are  often  landed  proprietors,  who  have  taken  a  public  service  degree,  men  such 
as  this  Wang  appears  to  have  been. 

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148  THE  CHINESE   AND  THEIR  EEBELLIONS. 

energy  in  fortifying  it,  and  no  little  amount  of  constructive 
ingenuity  in  availing  themselves  of  the  natural  facilities,  the 
materials  at  hand  fee,  towards  effecting  that  object.     Aa 
they  succeed  in  effecting  it,  the  Imperial  forces  begin   to 
approach.     At  first  these  latter  station  themselves  in  en- 
trenched camps  of  observation,  at  such  distances  as  render 
their  presence  no  very  serious  inconvenience  to  the  Tae 
pings.     As  their  numbers  increase  with  the  concentration  of 
troops  from  various  quarters,  they  gradually  hem  in  the  Tae 
pings,  with  more  or  less  of  resistance  on  the  part  of  the 
latter,  until  an  effectual  blockade  is  established.     Assaults 
and  storms  on  the  part  of  the  Imperialists  are  occasionally 
attempted,  but  always  fdil ;  and  are  productive  of  so  much 
loss  that  they  give  up  the  idea  of  conquering  in  that  way, 
and  confine  their  efforts  to  cutting  off  all  channels  of  supply. 
In  this  they  are  eventually  successful ;   and  the  Tae  pings^ 
straitened  by  want  of  provisions,  are  compelled  to  break  out. 
They  cut  their  way  through   their  enemies,  inflicting  far 
greater  damage  on  the  latter  than  they  themselves  incur,  and 
move  to  another  position*     Such  of  the  Imperialists  as  dog 
them  too  closely  on  the  way  meet  with  some  severe  check 
from  the  Tae  pings ;  but  the  great  body  of  the  Imperialists 
usually  spend  some  time  in  plundering  the  original  inha- 
bitants of  the  place  of  everything  the  Tae  pings  did  not  take 
with  them,  and  in  slaughtering  these  unfortunate  neutrals  as 
^^  rebels."    In  the  reports  of  the  Imperialist  leaders  to  the 
Emperor,  as  published  in  the  Peking  Gazettes,  the  break- 
ing out  of  the  Tae  pings  is  called  an  '^  escape ; "  and  the 
move  to  another  position  a  "  flight."    But  every  one  of  these 
**  escapes ''  has  been  from  a  position  of  lesser  importance  to 
one  of  greater ;   and  every  one  of  these  "  flights "  has  been 
from  a  spot  more  remote  from  the  Imperial  Capital,  Peking, 
to  a  spot  less  remote  from  it;  as  the  reader  will  perceive 
from  the  sketch  and  route  which  accompanies  this  volume. 
The  first  fortified  positions  of  the  Tae  pings  were  villages  or 
country  towns;   afterwards  they  were  district  cities;  then 


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PBOCEEDINGS  OP  THE  TAE  PING  EEBELS.  l49 

departmental  cities;  the  provincial  capital  of  Hoonan  was 
next  occupied  by  them  for  a  month;  and^  at  lengthy  they 
took  np,  and  have  ever  since,  held  the  most  important  military 
position  in  the  Empire :  its  former  capital  Nanking,  and  the 
"  King  kow  "  the  port  of  the  capital,  the  city  of  Chin  keang, 
which  commands  at  once  the  Great  River  and  the  Grand 
Canal.  There  the  military  tactics  of  the  Tae  pings  assumed  a 
second  phase.  The  first  phase  of  their  military  career — ^what 
we  may  call  the  concentrated  and  locomotive  phase,  inasmuch 
as  during  it  their  whole  force  formed  but  one  army,  and  kept 
moving  from  place  to  place — this  first  phase  occupied  two 
years  and  a  half;  from  October  1850  till  March  1853. 

In  the  first  months  of  this  period  the  Tae  pings,  as  we 
learn  from  Mr.  Hambei^'s  book  (corroborated  by  facts  in 
my  offidal  contemporaneous  reports  made  at  Canton)  took 
up  positions  in  inimical  villages  and  towns  where  they  felt 
justified  in  despoiling  the  inhabitants,  or  the  more  wealthy  of 
them,  as  their  enemies.  But  soon,  when  continued  success 
had  strengthened  the  conviction  on  their  minds  of  the  reality 
of  the  Divine  Mission  of  the  Heavenly  Prince,  Hung  sew 
tseuen,  they  took  up  that  attitude  towards  the  Chinese 
people,  as  well  as  the  Manchoos,  which  they  have  invariably 
and  consistently  maintained  since  we  met  them  at  Nanking, 
and  often  in  defiance  and  contempt  of  the  dictates  of  imme- 
diate expediency :  "  Our  Heavenly  Prince  has  received  the 
Divine  Commission  to  exterminate  the  Manchoos — to  exter- 
minate them  utterly,  men,  women  and  children — to  exter- 
minate all  idolaters  generally,  and  to  possess  the  Empire  as 
its  True  Sovereign.  It  and  everything  in  it  is  his,  its  moun- 
tains and  rivers,  its  broad  lands  and  public  treasuries ;  you, 
and  all  that  you  have,  your  family,  males  and  females  from 
yourself  to  your  youngest  child,  and  your  property  from 
your  patrimonial  estates  to  the  bracelet  on  your  infantas 
arm.  We  command  the  services  of  all,  and  we  take  every- 
thing. All  who  resist  us  are  rebels  and  idolatrous  demons, 
and  we  kill  them  without  sparing ;  but  whoever  acknowledges 


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150  THE  CHINESE   AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

our  Heavenly  Prince  and  exerts  himself  in  onr  service  shall 
have  full  reward — due  honour  and  station  in  the  armies  and 
Court  of  the  Heavenly  Dynasty." 

These  general  views,  just  given,  of  the  military  proceed- 
ings and  political  principles  and  attitude  of  the  Tae  ping?, 
will,  with  the  route  on  the  accompanying  chart,  enable  the 
reader  to  attain  a  more  clear  and  correct  knowledge  of  the 
progress  of  the  Chinese  Insurrection,  than  any  attempt  to 
furnish  a  minute  detail  of  battles,  sieges,  marches  and  names 
of  generals  and  numbers  of  troops  taken  from  the  Peking 
Gazette  and  contemporaneous  reports.  I  must  however 
subjoin  a  few  extracts  from  Mr.  Hamberg's  book,  illustrative 
of  Hung  sew  tseuen's  dealings  with  the  bandit  and  Triad 
rebels  who  kept  the  field  in  Kwang  se  for  some  months 
before  and  after  the  rising  of  the  Godworshippers  as  Tae 
pings ;  and  I  must  also  endeavour  to  give  some  true  glimpses 
of  the  state  of  the  Imperial  Armies. 

After  leaving  his  first  position  ^^  he  took  possession  of  a 
large  village  called  Tae  tsun  where  he  pitched  his  camp, 
finding  abundant  provisions  for  his  numerous  followers.  The 
reason  why  Hung  sew  tseuen  took  this  large  village  was  as 
follows :  A  rebel  chief  named  Chin  a  kwei  who  for  a  long 
time  previously  had  disturbed  the  country,  finally  expressed 
himself  willing  to  unite  his  forces  with  those  of  Hung  sew 
tseuen.  However  before  this  juncture  was  effected,  during 
the  time  the  latter  had  possession  of  the  market  town  men- 
tioned above,  the  former  made  an  excursion  to  the  west, 
when  he  was  taken  captive  by  the  people  of  Tae  tsun  and 
delivered  to  the  mandarins  who  rewarded  the  deed  with  a 
gilt  button.  Hung  sew  tseuen  took  the  village  to  avenge 
the  death  of  Chin  a  kwei." 

A  Peking  Gazette  of  the  28th  November,  1860,  informs 
us  that  this  rebel  chief,  Chin  a  kwei,  had  been  defeated  with 
the  loss  of  "  upwards  of  1,000  in  slain  and  of  400  prisoners" 
in  the  east  of  Kwang  se ;  and  by  a  later  Gazette  that  he 
had  fled  from  thence  with  the  remnant  of  his  men  to  his 


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PBOCE£DINGS  OF  THE  TAB  PING  EEBELS.  151 

native  district,  Kwei  ping  (the  original  seat  of  the  society  of 
God  worshippers)  where  he  was  seized  in  a  mountain  ravine 
in  the  spring  of  1851. 

'^  Daring  the  time  that  Hung  sew  tseuen  was  encamped 
at  the  above  village  two  female  rebel  chiefs,  of  great  valour, 
named  Kew  urh  and  Sze  san,  each  one  bringing  about 
2,000  followers,  joined  the  army  of  the  Godworshippers,  and 
were  received  on  submitting  to  the  authority  of  Hung  and 
the  rules  of  the  congregation.  He  placed  these  two  female 
chiefs  with  their  followers  at  a  distance  from  the  main  body 
of  his  army,  making  them  serve  as  outposts,  one  on  each 
side.  About  the  same  period^  eight  rebel  chiefs  belonging 
to  the  Triad  Society,  intimated  to  Hung  sew  tseuen  their 
wish  to  join  his  army  with  their  respective  bands.  Hung 
8ew  tseuen  granted  their  request,  but  under  condition  that 
they  would  conform  to  the  worship  of  the  true  God.  The 
eight  chiefs  declared  themselves  willing  to  do  so,  and  sent 
their  tribute  of  oxen,  pigs,  rice,  &c.  Hung  sew  tseuen  now 
despatched  sixteen  of  the  brethren  belonging  to  the  congre- 
gation^ two  to  each  chief,  in  order  to  impart  to  them  and 
their  followers  some  knowledge  of  the  true  religion  before 
they  had  taken  the  definitive  step  of  joining  him.  When 
preparatory  instruction  had  been  received,  the  chiefs  dis- 
missed their  tutors  with  a  liberal  sum  of  money,  as  a  reward 
for  their  trouble,  and  soon  after,  they,  with  all  their  followers, 
joined  the  army  of  Hung  sew  tseuen.  Fifteen  of  the  teachers 
who  had  been  sent  out  to  the  chiefs,  now  in  accordance  with 
the  laws  of  the  congregation  gave  the  money  which  they 
had  received  into  the  common  treasury ;  but  one  of  them 
kept  the  money  for  himself,  without  saying  a  word.  This 
same  individual  had  several  times  before,  by  his  misconducf, 
made  himself  amenable  to  punishment,  and  had  been  spared 
only  in  consideration  of  his  eloquence  in  preaching.  He 
had,  in  the  first  instance,  not  fully  abstained  from  the  use  of 
opium,  but  to  procure  the  drug  had  sold  some  rattan-bucklers 
belonging  to  the  army;   another  time  being  excited  with 


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152  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

wine>  he  had  iDJured  some  of  the  brethren.  As  soon  as  his 
concealment  of  the  money  was  proved^  Hung  sew  tseuen 
and  the  man*s  own  relatives,  who  were  present  in  the  arm y^ 
desired  to  have  him  punished  according  to  the  full  rigour  of 
the  law,  and  ordered  him  to  be  decapitated  as  a  warning  to 
all.  When  the  chiefs  of  the  Triad  Society  saw  that  one  of 
those  who  had  just  before  been  despatched  as  a  teacher  to 
them^  was  now  killed  for  a  comparatively  small  offence,  they 
felt  very  uncomfortable,  and  said,— 

"  ^  Your  laws  seem  to  be  rather  too  strict;  we  shall  perhaps 
find  it  difficult  to  keep  them,  and  upon  any  small  transgres- 
sion you  would  perhaps  kill  us  also.' 

'*  Thereupon  ^  seven  chiefs  "  with  their  men,  departed  and 
afterwards  surrendered  to  the  Imperialists,  turning  their  arms 
against  the  insurgents.  Lo  ta  kang*  alone  remained  with 
Hung  sew  tseuen,  because  he  liked  the  discipline  of  his  army, 
and  the  doctrine  which  they  had  adopted  as  a  rule  of  their 
conduct.  It  is  said  that  six  of  the  above  chiefs  of  the  Triad 
Society  ultimately  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  insurgents  while 
fighting  against  them,  and  were  killed.  Hung  sew  tseuen 
had  formerly  expressed  his  opinion  of  the  Triad  Society  in 
about  the  following  language : — 

"  *  Though  I  never  entered  the  Triad  Society  I  have  often 
heard  it  said  that  their  object  is  to  subvert  the  Tsing  and 
restore  the  Ming  dynasty.  Such  an  expression  was  very 
proper  in  the  time  of  Ejing  he  when  this  Society  was  at  first 
formed,  but  now,  after  the  lapse  of  two  hundred  years,  we 
may  still  speak  of  subverting  the  Tsing,  but  we  cannot 
properly  speak  of  restoring  the  Ming.  At  all  events  when 
our  native  mountains  and  rivers  are  recovered  a  new  dynasty 
must  be  established.  How  could  we  at  present  arouse  the 
energies  of  men  by  speaking  of  restoring  the  Ming  dynasty  ? 

*  I  had  converBations  with  this  man  on  two  separate  occasions  when  he  was, 
as  the  Tae  ping  Commandant  of  Chin  keang,  holding  that  city  with  a  garrison 
of  only  two  or  three  thousand  men  against  an  Imperialist  besieging  foroe  of  ten 
to  fifteen  thousand. 


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PBOCEEDINaS  OF  THE  TAE  PIKG  REBELS.  153 

There  are  seyeral  evU  practices  connected  with  the  Triad 
Society,  which  I  detest.  If  any  new  member  enter  the 
Society,  he  must  worship  the  devil  and  utter  36  oaths;  a 
sword  is  placed  upon  his  necki  and  he  is  forced  to  contribute 
money  for  the  use  of  the  Society.  Their  real  object  has 
now  become  yery  mean  and  unworthy.  If  we  preach  the 
true  doctrine,  and  rely  upon  the  powerful  help  of  God,  a 
few  of  us  will  equal  a  multitude  of  others.  I  do  not  even 
think  that  Sun  pin.  Woo  ke,  Kung-ming  and  others  famous 
in  history  for  their  military  skill  and  tactics,  are  deserving 
much  estimation — how  much  less  these  bands  of  the  Triad 
Society?' 

**  Hang  sew  tseuen  afterwards  ordered  his  followers  not  to 
receive  among  their  number  any  Triad  men  but  such  as  were 
willing  to  abandon  their  former  practices  and  to  receive 
instruction  in  the  true  doctrine.^' 

At  page  146  I  have  stated  that  Chow  teen  tseo  was  ap- 
pointed Governor  of  Kwang  se  at  the  time  that  Le  sing  yuen 
was  Imperial  Commissioner,  and  Heang  yUng  a  General  there. 
The  subjoined  is  a  translation  of  a  private  letter  written,  in 
the  latter  half  of  April,  1851,  by  Chow  teen  tseo  to  the 
Governor  of  the  province  of  Hoo  pih,  evidently  to  move  the 
latter  to  expedite  the  despatch  of  the  Hoo  pih  troops  which 
this  letter  says  had  been  officially  applied  for.  The  letter 
treats  of  the  most  important  subjects,  but  is  written  in  a  hur- 
ried and  somewhat  disjointed  way,  just  as  one  might  expect 
a  Commander  to  write^  under  the  circumstances  described. 

*  A  copy  W18  obtained  by  a  Chineae,  whom  I  had  sent  from  Canton  to 
Peking,  on  hia  way  north  through  Woo  chang  the  capital  of  Hoh  pih ;  and 
enclosed  to  me  with  a  private  letter  dated  at  that  city  the  26th  June,  1851. 

In  the  abaence  in  China  of  *'  own  eorrespondenta  "  and  the  newspapers  in 
which  their  letters  could  be  published,  copies  of  letters  of  this  kind,  t.e.  from 
men  whose  position  enables  them  to  take  a  general  survey  of  things,  are  passed 
from  hand  to  hand  by  the  Chinese.  What  I  have  said  above  about  the  record 
of  Pih  kwei's  audiences  with  the  Emperor  Taou  kwang  will  enable  the  reader 
to  understand  how  such  letters  come  into  circulation,  why  the  copies  are  often 
imperfect,  Ac  jfcc  My  messenger,  a  northern  Chinese,  when  at  Woo  chang 
accidentally  met  with  another »man  fh>m  the  same  province  as  himself.  In  such 


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154  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

I  have  Btriven  to  give  the  hasty  and  disjointed  style  of  the 
original ;  and  hence,  if  the  translation  runs  awkwardly^  the 
reader  must  not  attribute  that  altogether  to  the  difficulty  of 
rendering  the  Chinese  idiomatically : 

"  I  have  respectfully*  to  inform  you  that  after  receiving 
my  seal  of  office,  I  started  on  the  3rd  Marchf  (1851)  and 
repaired  to  Lew  chow  where  I  had  an  interview  with  the 
Imperial  Commissioner  (Le  sing  yuen)  and  then  proceeded 
from  Lew  chow  to  Tsin  chow,  where  I  learnt  that  the  Tsze 
king  mountain  was  destitute  of  troops.  The  Commander  of 
the  Forces  (Le  sing  yuen)  did  not  think  the  place  worth  at- 
tending to.  I  was  most  anxious  to  enlist  irregulars  and  per- 
sonally hold  that  post ;  for  it  is  the  place  where  Wang  yang 
ming  X  established  his  great  camp.     It  is  inconceivable  how 

cases  an  acqaaintance  la  soon  atrack  up.  The  stranger  had  great  skill  in  the 
nse  of  the  spear,  and  had  been  brought  down  to  Woo  chang  to  instmct  the 
military  in  that  art,  who  were  going  to  Ewang  se.  The  connection  of  this 
instructor  with  the  military  officers  enabled  him  to  get,  and  to  communicate  to 
my  messenger,  a  copy  of  the  letter.  "  Are  you  going  to  Ewang  se,  yourself  V 
asked  my  man  in  the  course  of  their  conversations.  "  They  want  me,**  answered 
the  spear-instructor — "  but  I  won't  go  for  any  money.  They  say,  you  see,  some 
of  these  Ewang  se  rebels  are  barbarians,  and  I  fought  once  with  the  red-brisUed 
barbarians  (the  English)  at  Chin  hae.  We  went  against  them  in  great  spirits 
and  thought  that  they  never  would  be  able  to  stand  our  spears.  But  when 
the  big  guns  from  the  steamers  began  to  fire  and  the  red  soldieis  came 
towards  us,  shooting  us  with  their  muskets,  it  was  terrible.  I  only  saved  my 
life  by  throwing  myself  down,  pulling  two  bodies  over  me,  and  shamming  dead 
for  a  day  and  a  night  As  I  lay  there  I  said,  'If  I  get  safe  through  this,  I'll 
never  fight  again.' "  Such  was  about  what  my  messenger  narrated  to  me  when 
questioning  him  as  to  the  way  in  which  he  got  the  letter. 

*  This  word  is  merely  a  form.  The  writer  was  as  high  in  station  as  the 
person  he  wrote  to. 

t  "  The  first  of  the  second  month."  I  substitute  the  corresponding  English 
date  at  once,  to  render  the  translation  less  strange  in  sound. 

X  Wang  yang  ming  was  a  great  philosophical  writer  and  militaiy  commander 
of  the  Ming  dynasty.  He  defeated  the  aboriginal  mountaineers  in  that  quarter 
of  Ewang  se  in  A.n.  1529,  ie.  about  three  centuries  before  the  above  letter  was 
written.  He  is,  I  believe,  one  of  the  three  or  four  hundred  worthies  whose 
names  have  a  place  in  the  Confucian  temple ;  and  in  every  case  he  has  the 
honour  of  a  section  in  the  standard  work  entitled  "Deeds  and  Speeches  of 
Celebrated  Officers,"  where  his  fighting  in  Ewang  se  is  mentioned.  One  of  the 
members  of  Lord  Amherst's  embassy,  speaking  of  Nanking,  says  that  places 


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PBOCEEDIKGS  OF  THE  TAE  PING  REBELS.  155 

people  could,  that  notwithstanding,  give  it  no  attention  I 
Bnt  I  had  not  got  a  day's  journey  on  my  road  toward  Woo 
aeuen,  when  the  rebels  at  Kin  teen  bnmt  their  lair,  fled  out, 
and  escaped  by  this  very  place,  through  the  Ta  tang  gorge  to 
Tung  heang  (Eastern  village)  in  the  Woo  seuen  district.* 

I  fell  back  to  the  market-town  San  le,  about  seven  miles 
from  the  district  city.  From  this  place  the  road  is  open  to 
Seang  chow  and  Lew  chow ;  so  that  it  forms  a  pass  leading 
to  the  provincial  capital.  Had  it  been  taken,  the  general 
affiiirs  of  the  whole  province  would  have  been  totally  ruined. 
It  was  analogous  to  the  Tang  pass  held  by  Ko  shoo  han.f 
It  is  one  of  the  most  important  of  important  places.  By  dint 
of  great  efforts  I  withstood  them  here,  alone,  with  my  single 
corps  for  three  days.  Had  I  arrived  later  by  one  or  two 
days— once  Woo  seuen  lost,  and  Seang  chow  being  abso- 
lutely without  a  single  soldier — they  could  have  passed  on 
through  it ! 

**  On  the  19th  of  March  and  on  the  6th  April,  two  battles 
were  fought,  but  on  both  occasions  the  rebels  experienced  no 
great  loss,  owing  to  the  cowardice  of  our  troops.     On  the 

II  ih  April,  the  rebels  attempted  to  seize  the  Ferry  at  Kew 

in  China  are  nninteresting  because  liaving  no  historical  associationB.  8o  are 
Oreeee  and  JRomefor  those  xgnorarU  of  European  Ancient  History,  Nanking 
has  not  only  assodations,  but  great  aBsoeiations  of  many  centuries.  Some  were 
even  in  my  mind  as  I  rode  through  its  streets  to  meet  the  rebel  leaden;  and 
for  a  well  read  Chinese  there  is  scarcely  a  district  in  the  Empire  without  its 
associations.  We  see  here  Chow  teen  tseo  draw  on  military  history  for  his  prac- 
tical guidance ;  as  a  general  who  found  himself  opposed  to  an  enemy  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  Dunbar  might  draw  on  the  history  of  Cromwell  for  his 
practical  assistance. 

*  From  this  letter  and  a  memorial  in  the  Peking  (Gazette  it  appears  that 
the  Tae  pings  left  their  camp  at  Kin  teen  on  the  4th  March,  1851. 

f  Eo  shoo  han  was  an  Imperial  General  under  the  Tang  dynasty,  who  in  a.d. 
727  was  in  the  field  against  the  rebel,  Gan  luh  shan.  His  tactics  were  to  hold 
the  passes  and  remain  on  the  defensive,  on  the  ground  that  it  was  for  the 
interest  of  the  rebels,  who  had  marched  from  a  distance,  to  engage  in  a  pitched 
battle  at  once.  He  was  howeyer  compelled  by  orden  to  leave  his  position,  and 
attack  the  rebels.  He  was  defeated ;  was  taken  prisoner  at  the  Tung  pass 
which  he  then  attempted  to  defend ;  the  rebel,  Qan  luh  shan,  advanced  on  the 
capital;  and  the  Bmperor  was  forced  to  fly» 


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156  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

Keen  heu  (the  old  district  city  market  town)  with  the  inten-* 
tion  of  proceeding  northward  with  their  combined  force. 
Fortunately  the  chief  commanders  of  the  irregulars,  recently 
sent  hither,  fought  vigorously.  I  did  not  move  up  one 
single  man;  and  the  Kwei  chow  troops  looked  on  from  the 
top  of  the  mountains,  while  the  whole  valley  was:  filled  with 
the  rebels  I  However  the  rebels  nevertheless  sustained  a 
great  defeat,  and  fled  leaving  the  ground  thickly  strewed 
with  the  dead  and  wounded.  There  were  some  of  them,  too, 
shattered  to  pieces*  from  the  fighting — across  the  river- 
being  so  very  close. 

'^  Tae  ping  and  Nan  ning  (two  departments  in  the  south 
west  of  Kwang  se)  have  just  sent  in  word  that  they  are  hard 
pressed ;  Yu  lin  and  Po  pih  (districts  in  the  south)  are  just 
about  to  fall ;  and  at  Ping  lo  and  Ho  (districts  in  the  west) 
the  Major  General  has  been  defeated ;  and  it  is  not  known 
what  is  become  of  him.  In  other  quarters,  the  whole  country 
swarms  with  them  (the  rebels).  Our  funds  are  nearly  at  an 
end,  and  our  troops  few;  our  officers  disiagree,  and  the  power 
is  not  concentrated.  The  Commander  of  the  Forces  wants  to 
extinguish  a  burning  waggon  load  of  faggots  with  a  cup  iuU 
of  water.  Further,  he  keeps  up  an  endless  moving  and 
despatching  of  the  troops,  who  are  wearied  with  marching 
along  the  roads.  Hoo  yuen  ke,  the  prefect  whom  the 
Governor  General  denounced,  he  (Le  sing  yuen)  exerts  him- 
self to  protect,  and  glosses  over  all  matters  that  have  to  be 
examined  into.  He  can  think  of  screening  Chin  tsoo  shin,t 
but  does  not  think  of  the  injuries  inflicted  on  the  state. 

''  General  Heang  yung,  though  he  has  abilities,  is  of  an 
unjust  and  narrow  mind.  He  keeps  other  people's  good  ser- 
vices out  of  sight,  and  publishes  his  own  merits.  All  the 
forces  from  Kwei  chow  and  Yunnan  detest  him.    I  fear  we 

*  The  Chinese  hare  a  peculiar  horror  of  diBmemberment ;  whence  hanging  is 
not  so  disgraceful  a  legal  punishment  as  decapitation. 

t  Chow  teen  keo's  (the  letter  writer's)  predecessor  as  Gfoyemor  of  Kwang  se, 
whose  conduct  was  being  investigated. 


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PROCEEDINGS  OP  THE  TAE  PING  EEBELS.  157 

shall  hereafter  have  some  serious  affair — that  the  great  bodj 
will  rise  against  us,  and  our  own  people  leave  us. 

*'  The  chief  commander  of  the  Irregulars  *  is  good  at  fight- 
ing on  the  water  (rivers)  and  exerted  himself  very  much 
in  protecting  the  ferries  at  the  five  places  Kew  tseen,  Lih  ma 
kwo,  Shih  tsuy  change  Show  chow  mei,  and  Ping  chung.  But 
Heang  yung  is  jealous  of  him;  and  having  got  a  Yang  laou^f 
yet  gives  ear  to  secret  tales  against  him.  I  am  now  doing  all 
I  can  to  encourage  the  chief  commander  and  the  nine  (lesser) 
commanders  of  the  Irregulars,  and  they  maintain  their  posts 
a  hundred  times  better  than  the  ofiicers  and  soldiers  of  the 
regular  army.     This  is  the  state  of  affairs  with  us. 

**  As  to  these  rebels  they  have  five  great  leaders.  Hung 
tseuen  is  the  first,  Fung  yun  san  is  the  next,  Yang  sew  tsing 
is  the  next,  and  Hoo  yih  seen  and  Tsang  san  sew  are  the 
next. 

*'  Hung  tseuen  is  not  a  man  of  the  surname  of  Hung — he  is 
a  barbarian  of  some  sort4  Fung  yun  san  is  a  graduate  of 
the  first  degree  (bachelor).  Both  are  skilled  in  the  use  of 
troops.  Hung  tseuen  §  is  a  barbarian,  who  practises  the 
ancient  military  arts.    At  first  he  conceaU  his  strength,  then 

*  A  great  portion  of  these  were  from  the  Eaat  of  Evang  timg,~that  portion 
of  the  coast  land  which  I  hare  stated  to  produce  the  most  turbulent  and  daring 
of  the  Chinese.  We  used  to  see  them,  in  large  numbers,  as  they  passed  Canton 
on  their  way  np  to  Kwang  se. 

f  Yang  laon  was  a  military  man  who  fought  first  against  the  Sungs,  but  was 
afterwards  induced  to  join  them,  and  was  much  trusted  by  Tae  tsung  of  that 
dynasty,  who  reigned  from  a.i>.  976  tiU  a.d.  998.  HaTing  distinguished 
himself  greatly  in  the  border  wars,  the  higher  officers,  out  of  envy,  sent  in 
secret  denunciations  against  him ;  but  the  Emperor  merely  forwarded  them 
under  coyer  to  Tang  laou  himself;  i.  e.  did  not  listen  to  them.  The  Chief 
Commander  of  the  Irregulars  is  here  likened  to  Tang  laou,  and  Heang  yung  to 
the  Emperor;  only  Heang  yung  to  his  discredit  fails  in  the  parallel. 

t  From  this  we  must  infer  that  Hung  sew  tseuen's  origin  was  unknown  to 
the  best  informed  Imperialists  in  April,  1851.  His  Christianity,  and  the  fact 
of  his  haying  resided  some  time  with  Mr.  Boberts,  probably  gaye  rise  to  this 
belief  eonoeming  him.  The  reader  will  see  farther  on  that  people  in  the  rebel 
army  held  him  to  be  a  "barbarian." 

§  That  is  to  say  he  is  a  man  of  dangerous  character,  combining  the  fierceness 
of  the  barbarian,  with  a  knowledge  of  the  best  military  tactics. 


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158  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  BEBELLIONS. 

he  puts  it  forth  a  little,  then  in  a  greater  degree,  and  lastly 
comes  on  in  great  force.  He  constantly  has  two  victories  for 
one  defeat ;  for  he  practises  the  tactics  of  Sun  pin.  *  The 
other  day  I  obtained  a  rebel  book  describing  the  organiza- 
tion of  one  army.  It  is  the  Sze  ma  system  of  the  Chow 
dynasty**)-  A  division  has  its  general  of  division,  a  regiment 
has  its  colonel  (literally  a  sze  has  its  sze  shwae,  a  leu  has  its 
leu  shwae).  An  army  consists  of  13,270  men,  being  the 
strength  of  an  ancient  army  with  the  addition  of  upwards 
of  a  hundred  men.:t 

*^  Their  forces  are  divided  into  nine  armies  in  accordance 
with  the  system  of  nine  degrees  in  the  ^  Tribute '  of  Yu.§ 
In  this  book  is  specifically  described  the  first  army,  that  of  the 
Grand  Generaltssimo  Hung,  and  it  states  at  the  end,  that  all 
the  other  nine  armies  are  to  be  arranged  and  organized  in  like 
manner.  This  book  has  been  sent  to  the  Cabinet  CounciL 
The  rebels  increase  more  and  more ;  our  troops  the  more 
they  fight  the  more  they  fear.  The  rebels  generally  are 
powerful  and  fierce;  and  they  cannot  by  any  means  be  likened 
to  a  disorderly  crowd  (literally  a  flock  of  crows) ;  their  regu- 
lations and  laws  being  rigorous  and  dear.  Our  troops  have 
not  a  tincture  of  discipline;  retreating  is  easy  to  them, 
advancing  difficult ;  and,  though  again  and  again  exhorted, 
they  always  remain  as  weak  and  as  timorous  as  before. 
When  personally  in  command  at  the  above  battles,  I  found 
that  the  troops — and  they  were  from  several  different  quarters 

•  A  famous  ancient  general,  whose  greatest  campaign  took  place  b.  a  841. 

t  A  great  dynasty  that  ended  B.a  266. 

X  The  copy  which  Chow  teen  keo  had  when  he  wrote  must  either  have  heen  a 
partially  erroneous  manuscript  one ;  or  we  must  regard  this  as  a  proof  that  there 
were  some  slight  differences  between  the  then  construction  of  the  Tae  ping 
armies  and  that  which  we  found  existing  at  Nanking  two  yean  later,  when  the 
number  of  men  in  an  army  was  exactly  that  of  ancient  Itimes,  yiz.  19,125  misa 
and  officers. 

f  This  is  the  name  of  a  section  or  chapter  in  the  ancient  book,  the  Bhoo 
king  or  Historical  Canon.  The  "  nine  degrees  "  haye  some  analogy  with  oar 
naval  nonaiy  gradation  of  main,  yice  and  rear  squadrons  of  the  red,  white 
and  blue  flags. 


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PBOCEEDINQS  OP  THE  TAE  PING  REBELS.  159 

(of  the  country) — were  all  alike  useless.  At  present  there  is 
no  other  plan  than  to  bring  in  levies  of  good  troops  from 
Kwang  tung,  as  well  as  20^000  regulars  and  irregulars  from 
Hoo  pihy  skilled  in  the  use  of  the  larger  description  of  arms ; 
and  then,  with  the  combined  strength  of  the  two  provinces, 
first  to  reduce  Kwang  se  to  quiet,  afterwards  Kwang  tung. 
I  and  my  two  associates  (Le  sing  yuen  and  Heang  yung)  have 
sent  in  a  memorial  to  the  Emperor  to  this  effect.  We  have 
yet  to  see  whether  it  will  be  attended  to  or  not.  To  think 
on  putting  an  end  to  these  criminals,  is  the  only  pleasant 
occupation  my  mind  has.  For  the  rest  I  cannot  exhaust  the 
subject  in  writing.  All  proceeds  from  the  mistakes  of  the 
Imperial  Commissioner,  who  like  Lan  teen  keen  employs 
himself  on  nothing  but  talking." 

From  the  above  and  an  Imperial  Edict  it  appears  that  the 
Tae  pings  left  their  first  great  position  at  Kin  teen  in  the 
Kwei  ping  district,  and  moved  to  Tung  heang  in  the  Woo 
seueu  district  on  the  4th  March,  1851.  Their  next  move  of 
importance,  viz.  from  Tung  heang  into  the  Seang  district, 
must  have  been  effected  about  the  10th  of  May,  according  to 
the  dates  given  in  one  of  my  (contemporaneous)  official 
reports,  that  written  at  Canton  on  the  11th  July;  from  which 
I  here  extract : 

**  Three  Imperial  Edicts  have  been  published  here,  the  first 
two  dating  as  issued  at  Peking  on  the  1st  June.  In  these 
the  commanding  officers  in  Kwang  se  are  severely  censured 
for  having  allowed  a  large  party  of  the  rebels,  previously  re- 
ported as  surrounded  in  the  Woo  seuen  district,  to  "  escape" 
into  the  adjoining  Seang  district.  The  Emperor  comments 
angrily  on  the  fact  of  their  memorial  to  him  saying  nothing 
of  their  present  plans,  but  merely  requesting  the  punishment 
of  themselves  and  their  subordinates.  He  declines  complying 
with  their  request,  so  far  as  the  latter  are  concerned,  on  the 
ground  that  the  lower  officers  have  been  condemned  to  in- 
action by  the  want  of  union  among  their  superiors ;  and  he 
calls  for  detailed  information  as  to  the  projects  of  the  rebels 


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160  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  BEBELLION& 

at  the  Seang  district,  on  the  posslbilitj  of  enclosing  them 
there,  and  on  the  measures  taken  for  preventing  their  ad- 
vance on  Kwei  lin,  the  capital  of  the  province." 

The  following  extract  from  my  Canton  report  of  the  2l8t 
August,  1851,  furnishes  the  fullest  and  most  authoritative 
corroboration  of  what  is  said  in  Chow  teen  keo's  letter  on 
the  state  of  the  Imperial  army ;  and  of  what  I  have  before 
said  of  the  effect  of  the  British  war: 

*^  Duritig  the  past  month  the  Peking  Grazettes  have  con- 
tinued to  give  memorials  of  the  high  officers  in  Kwang  se, 
with  the  Emperor's  replies  on  the  affairs  of  that  province. 
One  of  the  former,  by  the  Lieutenant-general  of  the  Canton 
Bannermen  Woo  Ian  tae  (who  went  there  from  Canton 
about  April)  has  considerable  interest  from  its  giving  to 
the  public,  for  the  first  time,  the  opinions  of  a  Manchoo  on 
the  insurrection. 

**  He  states  that  the  army  has  never  recovered  from  the  dis- 
organization caused  by  the  want  of  success  in  the  *  barbarian 
affairs/  (the  British  war)  so  that  the  troops  do  not  attend 
to  orders;  regard  retreat  on  the  eve  of  a  battle  as  'old 
custom ;'  and  the  abandonment  of  places  they  should  hold 
as  an  'ordinary  affair/  He  had  heard  of  this  state  of 
things  without  daring  to  give  it  full  credence ;  now,  how- 
ever, having  joined  the  forces  in  the  field,  he  has  personally 
witnessed  it,  and  sees  therein  cause  for  deep  anxiety.  Of 
all  those  faults  which  an  army  in  the  field  should  dread,  he 
finds  many  existing,  so  much  so,  that  the  troops  even  act 
without  orders  from  their  superiors.  Thus,  when  General 
Heang  yung,  Lieutenant-general  Tae  ting  san  and  himself 
stopped  at  New  Ian  tang  to  make  a  reconnaissance  and  ex- 
amine the  position  of  the  rebels,  they  had  halted  but  a  short 
time  when  a  large  portion  of  the  troops  proceeded  on  to 
Seang  chow,  into  which  city  all  the  Irregulars  also  hurried ; 
so  that  they  (the  generals)  could  not  form  the  encampment 
they  projected  at  the  spot.  General  Heang  yung  on  this 
occasion  declared  that  'if  the  troops  disregarded  orders  in 


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PROCEEDINGS  OF  THE  TAE  PING  REBELS.  161 

this  way  it  would  be  the  death  of  him.'  *  Though  greatly 
excited,  he  had  however  no  means  of  remedying  the  matter, 
and  was  subsequently  obliged  to  form  his  camp  at  Shih  mo. 
These  circumstances  he  (Woo  Ian  tae)  personally  witnessed, 
and  has  moreover  heard,  that  in  the  battles  formerly  fought 
the  ranks  of  ihe  regulars  and  irregulars  were  in  a  most  dis- 
orderly state ;  no  common  attention  was  paid  to  the  word  of 
command ;  at  the  first  sound  of  the  enemy's  guns  the  troops 
were  seized  with  fear;  and  if  one  or  two  happened  to  get 
wounded,  the  whole  body  thought  of  retreat.  On  the  other 
hand  the  number  of  robbers  and  criminal  associations  in 
Kwang  tung  and  Kwang  se  is  very  great,  and  they  assemble 
without  the  least  hesitation  to  '  create  disturbances,'  all 
which  arises  from  that  class  having  ^seen  through  the  cir- 
cumstances of  the  army'  (i.e.  detected  its  impotence)  ^  at 
the  time  barbarian  affairs  were  being  transacted,'  (the  British 
War).  'Formerly  they  feared  the  troops  as  tigers;  of  late 
they  look  on  them  as  sheep.'  Further,  of  the  several  tens 
of  thousands  of  armed  irregulars  who  were  disbanded  at  the 
settlement  of  the  *  barbarian  business,'  very  few  returned 
to  their  original  occupations :  most  became  robbers. 

*'  These  are  the  causes  of  the  existence  of  numerous  ban- 
ditti in  Kwang  tung  and  Kwang  se ;  in  which  he  (Woo  Ian 
tae)  fears  order  and  tranquillity  will  never  be  established  if 
the  state  of  the  army  is  not  improved.  He  has  heard  that 
the  *  outer  barbarians '  constantly  declare  that  ^  China  is 
amply  furnished  with  literary  instruction  but  its  military 
arrangements  are  insufficient.' 

"  One  thousand  Kwei  chow  troops  having  been  placed 
under  his  special  command,  he  proposes  remaining  for  20 
days  simply  on  the  defensive,  in  order  that  he  may  infuse 
into  them  some  idea  of  discipline  and  instruct  them  in  the 
use  of  the  arms  he  brought  from  Canton,  viz.,  100  wall 
pieces,  200  muskets,  and  a  number  of  spears,  rockets  &c. 
He  closes  by  praying  His  Majesty  to  give  him  definite  powers 
*  The  originAl  expression  is  colloquial. 
M 


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162  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  REBELLIONS. 

over  tbe  forces  generally,  that  he  may  be  the  better  able  to 
effect  the  objects  for  which  he  has  beea  sent  to  Kwang  se. 
An  edict  confers  the  required  powers  on  him,  subject  how- 
ever to  the  superior  authority  of  the  Commander  in  Chief 
Sae  shang  ah,  when  the  latter  reaches  the  scene  of  opera- 
tions. 

*^  In  another  memorial,  Woo  Ian  tae  reports  what  he  saw 
of  the  operations  consequent  on  the  move  made  by  the  rebels 
from  the  Woo  seuen  district  into  the  Seang  district,  (about 
the  10th  May).  It  appears  from  what  he  says  that  the 
rebels  broke  through  the  most  strongly  guarded  of  the  posts 
by  which  they  were  surrounded;  and,  proceeding  to  the 
Seang  district,  stormed  and  kept  possession  of  an  important 
position  near  its  chief  city. 

''A  subsequent  edict  comments  on  a  *  great  victory'  guned 
by  Woo  Ian  tae  and  the  others  in  which  *  several  thousands ' 
of  the  rebels  are  said  to  have  been  killed,  the  battle  lasting 
eight  hours.  Other  victories,  and  degradations  of  officers  for 
reporting  false  victories,  as  also  for  drawing  public  money  to 
pay  non-existent  irregulars  are  noticed  in  others  of  the  docu- 
ments. 

*^  Chow  teen  tseo,  in  a  memorial,  advises  the  punishment 
of  certain  officers  for  allowing  a  Kwang  tung  man  [Fung 
yunsan?]  to  get  off  some  years  back,  whom  one  of  the 
literati  [the  graduate  Wang  ?]  had  accused  of  disseminating 
Christian  doctrines/' 

The  following  is  from  my  report  of  the  25th  Sept.  1851. 
The  Edicts  mentioned  must  have  been  issued  in  Peking  about 
three  weeks  before  that  date,  and  referred  to  reports  from 
Kwang  se  of  the  middle  of  August. 

'^  In  another  Edict,  just  arrived,  the  Emperor  states  that 
he  has  received  memorials,  from  whom  is  not  mentioned,  to 
the  effect  that  the  disturbances  in  Kwang  tung  and  Kwang  se 
are  in  a  great  degree  owing  to  the  spread  of  strange  doc- 
trines ;  for  which  reason  he  now  gives  orders  that  all  the 
proper  officers  take  steps  for  diffusing  the  knowledge  of  the 


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PKOCEEDINGS  OF  THE  TAE  PING  REBELS.  163 

national  ethics  among  the  people.  No  mention  is  made  of 
the  Christian  religion,  but  it  is  evidently  included  in  the 
term,  strange  doctrines.  I  may  add  here  that  a  third  edict 
degrades  Seu  ke  yu,  lately  Governor  of  Fuh  keen,  and  known 
to  foreigners  as  the  author  of  a  very  creditable  General 
Geography,  from  his  previous  rank  of  the  second  class  to  a 
post  of  the  fifth  class  in  one  of  the  boards  at  Peking.  The 
reason  given  is  only  that  he,  during  a  long  period  of  service 
as  Governor,  'did  not  seriously  exert  himself  in  the  good 
management  of  the  proper  affairs  of  the  locality/  The  pas- 
sage reads  as  if  he  had  busied  himself  with  afiairs  not  pro-- 
perly  his;  and  there  can  be  little  doubt  that  the  Geography 
has,  as  was  anticipated,  caused  his  degradation/'  * 

On  the  27th  August,  the  Tae  pings,  having  lefl  the  Seang 
district,  moved  into  that  of  Yung  gan,  in  the  chief  city  of 
which  they  established  themselves.  If  the  reader  will  refer 
to  my  description  of  the  public  officials  and  the  Yamuns  or 
Offices  at  a  district  city,  he  will  imderstand  that  this  was  a 
step  of  some  political  importance ;  and  the  following  extract 
from  my  official  report  of  the  27th  November,  1851,  shows 
that  it  was  so  regarded  by  well-informed  Chinese  at  the 
time: 

''  During  the  past  month  we  have  continued  to  be  almost 
without  reliable  details  as  to  the  proceedings  in  Kwang  se, 
but  enough  has  transpired  to  leave  no  doubt  as  to  the  general 
fact  that  the  efforts  of  the  Imperialists,  to  put  down  the 

insurrection,  are  still  unattended  with  success 

The  latest  accounts  state  the  rebels  to  be  still  in  occupation 
of  the  Yung  gan  district  city,  the  capture  of  which,  and 
death  of  its  magistrate,  was  mentioned  in  my  report  of  the 
25th  ultimo.  They  are  said  to  have  raised  and  strengthened 
its  walls    .     .     •     •     Perhaps  one  of  the  best  confirmations 

*  Since  we  hare  learnt  of  the  threatened  Christian  reyolntion,  at  that  time 
in  progrett  and  which  originated  in  foreign  teachings,  there  can  be  no  doubt 
whateyer,  that  the  Goyemor  was  degraded  for  publishing  a  book  that  showed 
foreigners  in  a  much  more  fayourable  light,  than  they  had  eyer  before  been 
known  to  the  great  body  of  the  Chinese  people. 

m2 


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164  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

of  the  little  success  of  the  Imperialists  lies  in  the  tone  of  a 
large  Chinese  merchant^  closely  connected  with,  and  favour- 
able to  the  Govemment,  and  whose  means  of  information  are 
very  good.  In  the  spring  of  this  year,  he  declared  everything 
to  be  settled  in  Kwang  tung,  and  said  that  everything  would 
be  settled  in  Kwang  se  within  two  or  three  months.  In  fact 
he  then  spoke  rather  slightingly  of  the  rebellion :  he  is  now 
very  serious  on  the  subject,  and  says  '  he  does  not  know  how 
long  it  will  be  before  it  is  put  down.' 

"  The  number  of  the  largest  party  of  the  rebels  he  states 
at  6000,  many  of  whom  are  however  boys  and  women.  All 
the  smaller  parties  together,  he  does  not  estimate  at  more 
than  10,000,  making  a  total  of  about  16,000  people  openly 
in  arms  against  the  Government.  The  latter  has,  he  says, 
about  30,000  men  in  the  field." 

My  informant,  in  the  above  case,  was  the  son  and  repre- 
sentative in  business  of  the  former  great  tea  merchant,  whose 
business  name  of  How  qua  is  not  unknown  in  England.  I 
had  had  sufficient  acquaintance  with  the  ordinary  demeanour 
and  tone  of  his  son  and  successor,  a  man  of  education  as  well 
as  intelligence,  to  be  struck  with  the  air  of  grave  concern  and 
truthfulness,  with  which  he  communicated  the  above  infor- 
mation ;  which  was  fully  confirmed  two  years  later  by  the 
statements  of  the  more  sincerely  religious  of  the  Tae  ping 
leaders  at  Nanking,  as  to  their  numbers  at  the  time  referred 
to.  The  "band  of  6,000  including  women  and  children" 
were  evidently  the  original  Godworshippers,  who  have  always 
formed  the  nucleus  and  real  strength  of  the  Tae  ping  forces. 

As  we  have  seen  from  Chow  teen  keo's  letter  that  the 
organization  of  these  forces  was  the  same  before  their  occu- 
pation of  Yung  gan  which  we  found  at  Nanking,  I  give 
now  a  summary  description  of  it,  as  it  then  appeared  to  me.* 

"  A  keun  or  army  is  composed  of  13,135  men  and  officers, 
under  the  immediate  command  of  a  keun  ahwae  or  General, 

*  Extracted  from  an  article  I  contribnted  in  May,  1853,  to  the  Shangbae 
Joamal,  "The  North  China  Herald." 


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PB0CEEDING8  OF  THE  TAB  PING  BEBELS.  165 

and  divided  into  five  ying  or  divisions,  the  fronts  rear,  left, 
right  and  centre. 

''  A  ying  or  division  is  composed  of  2,625  men  and  officers 
commanded  by  a  Sze  shwae  or  General  of  Division,  and  is 
divided  into  five  ^  or  regiments^  the  front,  rear,  left,  right 
and  centre. 

*'  A  fetf  or  regiment  is  composed  of  525  men  and  officers 
commanded  by  a  Leu  ahwae  or  Colonel,  and  is  divided  into 
five  tmh  or  companies,  the  first,  second,  third,  fourth  and 
fifth. 

*'  A  tstih  or  company  is  composed  of  104  men  and  officers, 
coDomanded  by  a  Tsuh  chang  or  Captain.  He  has  under  him 
four  Leang  sze  ma  or  Lieutenants,  distinguished  as  the  East, 
South,  West  and  North,  each  in  command  of  four  Woo  chang 
or  Sergeants  and  20  Woo  tsuh  or  privates. 

"  The  relative  standing  of  the  Sergeants  and  privates  is  not 
marked  by  such  terms  as  first,  second  &c.  front,  rear  &c.  or 
east,  south  &c. ;  but  the  Sergeants,  by  characters  signifying 
Powerful,  Daring,  Martial,  &c.  and  the  privates  by  characters 
signifying  Vanguard-repelling,  Enemy-breaking  &c.  These 
words,  as  well  as  the  section,  company,  regiment  and  divi- 
sion, are  all  marked  on  a  square  cloth  on  the  breast,  larger 
for  the  sergeants  than  for  the  privates.  The  Leang  sze  ma  or 
Lieutenants,  and  all  above,  have  no  such  cloths ;  but  each  has 
a  banner  with  his  designation  inscribed  on  it,  and  the  size  of 
which  increases  with  the  rank  of  the  officer.  On  these 
banners  are  also  inscribed  the  names  of  places,  chiefly  of 
departments  and  districts  in  Kwang  tung  and  Kwang  se, 
which  seem  to  be  used  analogously  to  the  names  of  places 
attached  to  some  of  our  regiments." 

About  the  time  the  preceding  organization  was  adopted. 
Hung  sew  tseuen  had  assumed  the  title  of  Heavenly  or  Divine 
Prince  ;  and  on  the  30th  November,  1851,  definitively  as- 
signed to  five  of  the  chief  leaders,  subordinate  princely  titles, 
viz.  to  Yang  sew  tsing,  that  of  Eastern  Prince ;  to  Seaou 
chaou  hwuy  that  of  Western  Prince ;  to  Fung  yun  san,  that 


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166  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS, 

of  Southern  Prince ;  to  Wei  ching,  that  of  Northern  Prince ; 
and  to  Shih  ta  kae,  that  of  Assistant  Prince. 

^*  Between  the  Generals  of  Keun  or  Armies  and  the 
Princes,  are  nine  descriptions  of  officers  distinguished  bj 
different  titles ;  who  are  equivalent  to  our  Ministers,  Com- 
manders in  chief  and  other  high  officers  in  charge  of  the 
civil,  judicial,  and  military  departments  of  state.  The  above 
military  organization,  and  all  the  titles,  are  those  used  in  olden 
times  in  China. 

"  The  Princes  wear  yellow  hoods,  shaped  like  the  Chinese 
helmet,  yellow  jackets  and  long  yellow  gowns.  The  officers 
next  in  rank,  red  hoods  with  a  broad  yellow  border,  yellow 
jackets  and  long  red  gowns.  The  third  in  rank  have  only  the 
hood  and  jacket,  and  those  lower  still  only  the  jacket. 

"  There  was  little  uniformity  of  dress  among  the  privates, 
even  in  the  cloth  round  the  head;  and  there  was  nothing 
equivalent  to  our  systematic  forming,  wheeling  and  march- 
ing in  regular  bodies;  but  the  strictest  discipline  is  main- 
tained in  so  far  as  prompt  obedience  to  orders  and  signalis  is 
concerned.  Of  guns  (cannon)  there  was  abundance,  of 
matchlocks  and  muskets  but  few,  the  arms  being  chiefly 
spears,  halberds  and  swords.     A  few  bows  were  noticed." 

The  Tae  ping  publications,  especially  that  entitled  "  Tae 
ping  Army  Organization,^^  showed  that  at  the  time  of  the 
taking  of  Nanking  there  existed  at  least  five  such  armies 
of  13,135  men  each  ;  and  from  what  I  saw  and  heard  there 
of  their  numbers,  I  was  led  to  conclude,  that  they  invested 
that  city  with  some  60  to  80  thousand  men.  This  was  the 
result  of  accessions  of  strength  to  their  original  10  or  15 
thousand,  received  in  the  course  of  their  twelve  months'  pro- 
gress from  Yung  gan  in  Kwang  se  northward  to  Nanking. 

After  they  had  occupied  Yung  gan  for  some  seven  months 
they  left  it  on  the  7th  April,  1852,  and  marched  to  Kwei 
lin  the  capital  of  the  province,  which  they  besieged  without 
success  for  about  a  month. 

On  the  19th  May  they  raised  the  siege  of  Kwei  lin. 


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PBOCEEDINaS  OF  THE  TA£  PING  HEBEIiU  167 

crossed  the  great  southern  watershed  into  the  province  of 
Hoonan^  aod  took  the  Taou  district  city  on  the  12th  June. 
A  month  later^  about  the  12th  and  Ifith  of  August,  thej 
took  the  district  city  of  Kea  ho,  the  departmental  city  of 
Kwei  yang  aud  the  district  city  of  Chi  a.  In  this  position 
they  remained  some  three  weeks,  when  they  left  and  marched 
straight  on  Chang  sha,  the  capital  of  the  province  of  Hoonan; 
before  which  they  appeared  on  or  before  the  11th  September. 
They  besieged  it  for  80  days,  during  which  they  stormed 
several  times  without  success,  but  with  great  loss  to  the 
Imperialist  garrison  and  to  the  Imperialist  armies  of  observa- 
tion in  the  vicinity.  One  of  the  contemporary  Peking 
Gazettes  gave  a  nominal  return  of  44  Imperialist  officers, 
from  ensigns  upwards,  inclusive  of  a  major  and  a  lieutenant- 
general,  all  killed  in  one  action. 

On  the  30th  November  the  Tae  ping  forces  raised  the 
siege  of  Chang  sha  and  moved  northward.  But  Chang  sha 
being  situated  on  the  Seang,  a  large  navigable  feeder  of  the 
Tung  ting  Lake,  they  here  began  that  progress  in  river 
craft  which  offered  specially  great  advantages  to  an  army, 
some  of  whose  best  leaders  and  troops  had  been  sea  rovers ; 
and  which  formed  one  of  the  chief  features  of  their  further 
advance.  On  the  13th  December  they  had  crossed  the  Tung 
ting  Lake  and  entered  the  main  stream  of  the  Great  River  at 
Yo  chang;  which  city  was  evacuated  by  the  Imperialists  on 
their  approach. 

They  advanced  on,  and  took  the  departmental  city  of 
Han  yang,  and  occupied  the  contiguous  great  commercial 
town  of  Han  kow  on  the  23rd  December.  They  then 
immediately  crossed  the  river  and  invested  Woo  change  the 
capital  of  Hoo  pih;  which  they  took  by  storm  on  the  12th 
January.  At  these  three  cities,  which,  at  a  low  estimate 
must  have  contained  a  population  of  three  to  four  millions, 
the  Tae  pings  remained  exactly  one  month,  during  which 
they  were  occupied  in  transferring  provisions  and  treasure  to 
their  vessels ;  of  which  latter  they  had  by  this  time  seized  a 


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168  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

sufficient  number  to  transport  their  now  large  armj  with  al  1 
its  stores. 

Their  progress  from  thence  to  Nanking — a  distance,  mea- 
sured by  the  sinuosities  of  the  river,  of  some  four  to  five  hun- 
dred miles — was  leisurely  and  almost  uninterrupted.  On  the 
18th  February  they  took  Kew  keang,  an  important  dty, 
situated  near  the  point  where  the  Great  River  touches  the 
Po  yang  lake,  and  on  the  24th  Gan  king,  the  capital  of 
the  province  of  Gan  hwuy.  From  these  cities,  and  many 
other  places  to  the  distance  of  one  or  two  days'  journey  from 
the  Great  River  on  both  sides,  they  collected  money  and 
provisions,  either  directly  taken,  or  paid  as  ransom. 

"  On  the  8th  March  they  appeared  before  Nanking,*  and, 
on  the  19  th  of  that  month,  sprung  a  mine  under  the  wall 
near  the  northern  angle,  which  effected  a  breach  of  about 
20  or  30  yards  in  extent.  They  immediately  stormed  by  this, 
meeting  with  only  a  slight  resistance  from  some  Shan  tung 
and  Kwei  chow  (Chinese)  troops  who  attempted  to  defend 
it,  and  proceeding  to  the  southern  quarter,  entered  the 
inner  city  there  situated ;  which  in  the  time  of  the  Mings 
was,  and  now  is  again,  called  the  Imperial  city,  but  which 
under  the  Manchoo  dynasty  has  been  occupied  by  the  here- 
ditary garrison  of  Tartar  Bannermen  and  their  families. 
The  following  was  the  strength  of  this  force  as  given  in  the 
Imperial  Army  Regulations : — 

Vanguard Hi 

Horse  (archers) 1,969 

Horse  (musqueteers) 750 

Cannoneers 61 

Footmen 572 

Artificers 120 

El^ves  (or  paid  expectants  of  one  of  the  above 

higher  grades) 1,500 

Total 5^06 


•  I  here  again  quote  from  one  of  five  successive  contributions  by  myself  to 
the  "North  China  Herald,"  written  in  May,  1858,  immediately  after  my  return 
from  Nanking  in  H.M.  war  steamer  Hermes, 


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PROCEEDINGS  OF  THE  TAE  PING  REBEI^.  169 

**  Thi8  was  the  paid  force,  but  owing  to  the  gradual 
increase  of  the  families  originally  settled  there,  it  is  well 
known  that  the  number  of  able-bodied  men  could  not  have 
been  less  than  seven  or  eight  thousand,  and  the  total  number 
of  all  ages  and  both  sexes  from  twenty  to  thirty  thousand. 
Twenty  thousand  was  the  number  given  by  most  of  the  in- 
surgents; but  it  is  thought  to  be  a  rather  low  estimate. 
These  Manchoos  had  to  fight  for  all  that  is  dear  to  man,  for 
the  Imperial  family  which  had  always  treated  them  well,  for 
the  honor  of  their  nation,  for  their  own  lives  and  for  the 
lives  of  their  wives  and  children.  This  they  well  knew,  the 
Heavenly  Prince  having  openly  declared  the  first  duty  of  his 
mission  to  be  their  extermination.  It  might  have  been 
expected  therefore  that  they  would  have  made  a  despe];ate 
light  in  self-defence.  Yet  they  did  not  strike  a  blow,  ^t 
would  seem  as  if  the  irresistible  progress  and  jxiVeteratid 
enmity  of  the  insurgents  had  bereft  them  of  ^U'sexid^  ^flind^' 
strength,  and  of  all  manhood ;  for  they  merely  thre^^^necH- 
selves  on  the  ground  before  the  Leaders  ^  aijd:  piteolisly 
implored  for  mercy  with  cries  of  *  Spare  my  fife,  Prince ! — 
Spare  my  life.  Prince  1 '  They  may  4iave  h^en  paralysed  by 
the  thought  that  their  impending  fate  wail-,  the  Tetribution  of 
Heaven  for  the  indiscriminate  slaughter  of  whole  populations 
by  their  ancestors  when  they  conquered  the  country ;  as  at 
Canton,  for  instance,  where  the  Chinese  still  speak  revenge- 
fully of  the  extermination  of  the  inhabitants  on  the  forces  of 
the  present  dynasty  taking  that  city.  Some  such  explanation 
the  Insurgents  gave  when  it  was  represented  *  to  many,  who 

*  It  was  myself  who  represented  this  to  them.  At  the  yery  time  that  Nan- 
king was  taken,  my  enquiries  zi  Shanghae  had  convinced  me  that  the  Manchoo 
garrison  had  become  most  unwarlike ;  and  that  they  would  not  prevent  that 
city  from  falling  into  the  hands  of  the  advancing  rebels.  Accordingly  in 
an  official  report,  afterwards  printed  with  Parliamentary  Papers,  I  felt  justi- 
fied in  stating :  "  All  accounts  describe  the  Manchoo  bannermen  as  being, 
though  very  numerous,  thoroughly  unwarlike,  and  quite  unable  to  resist 
the  first  general  storm  of  the  Insurgents."  Nevertheless,  I  could  not 
readily  credit  such  irrationally  abject  conduct  as  that  ascribed  to  them  by  the 
Insurgents,  and  hence  subjected  some  of  these  latter  to  a  good  deal  of  croes 


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170  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  fiEB£LUON& 

were  questioned  on  this  very  point,  how  absurd  it  was  to 
maintain  that  a  laige  body  of  full  grown  men  with  arms  in 
their  hands  had  submitted  to  be  slain  like  so  many  bleating 
sheep.  The  reply  was  always :  '  They  knew  heaven  was 
going  to  punish  them.'  Only  about  a  hundred  escaped  out 
of  a  population  of  more  than  twenty  thousand ;  the  rest,  men 
women  and  children  were  all  put  to  the  sword.  *  We  kilkd 
them  all/  said  the  Insurgents  with  emphasis, — the  recollection 
bringing  back  into  their  faces  the  dark  shade  of  unsparing 
sternness  they  must  have  borne  when  the  appalling  execution 
was  going  on — ^  We  killed  them  all  to  the  infant  in  arms: 
we  left  not  a  root  to  sprout  from.  The  bodies  were  thrown 
into  the  Yang  tsze.' 

'^  On  the  Ist  April  early  in  the  morning,  the  Insuis^ent 
fleet  of  river  craft  sent  down  from  Nanking  approached 
Chin  keang.     Only  the  Macao  Lorchas,^  despatched  up  the 
river  by  the  Shanghae  Intendant,  attempted  resistance,  the 
rest  of  the  Imperial  fleet  flying  in  dismay  at  the  sight  of  the 
enormous  number  of  vessels  moving  against  them.     The 
Lorchas  were  also  soon  forced  to  retreat,  and  were  pursued 
as  far   as  the   Silver   Island.     From  this  the  Insurgents 
returned  to  Chin  Keang,  which  they  occupied  unresisted; 
the  garrison,  among  them  400  northern  Mancboos,  having 
fled  without  firing  a  shot.     The  families  of  the  resident 
Tartars,  warned  by  the  fate  of  their  compatriots  at  Nanking  t 
all  evacuated  the  place,  to  the  number  of  20,000 :  only  a  few 
hundreds  were  caught  and  slain  in  the  surrounding  villages. 
On  the  following  day,  the  2nd  April,  the  Insurgents  occupied 

quesiioning  on  the  subject.  I  was  however  compelled  to  come  to  the  eonda- 
fllons  givea  in  the  text  It  is  another  well  authenticated  example  of  the  carious 
effects,  which  the  belief  in  an  inevitable  destiny,— an  irresistible  teen  ming — 
may  have  on  the  actions  of  human  beings  in  certain  circumstances. 

*  These  are  semi-Chinese  semi-European  vessels,  the  property  of  Hacao 
Portuguese,  and  chiefly  manned  by  them. 

t  I  was  told  that  the  English  War  served  as  a  precedent  for  the  inhabitants 
of  the  two  places.  We  stormed  Chin  keang,  hence  its  inhabitants  now  left  it 
Nanking  we  menaced,  but  did  not  take,  and  hence  both  Manchoos  and  Chinese 
fiiaoled  themselves  safe  there  from  the  Tae  pings. 


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PROCEEDINGS  OF  THE  TAE  PING  BEBELS.  171 

Kwa  chow  and  the  large  city  of  Yang  chow  on  the  northern 
bank  of  the  Yang  tsze ;  in  like  manner  without  resistance. 
A  long  battery  of  three  miles  of  guns,  that  lined  the  river  ' 
bank^  fell  into  their  hands.     Not  one  had  been  discharged 
against  them." 

The  Hermes  was  eight  days  within  the  Tae  ping  lines, 
during  which  period  their  forces  were  busily  engaged, 
strengthening  themselves  in  their  positions  at  the  above 
named  four  cities. 

'^  The  distance  from  the  nearest  gate  of  Chin  keang  to  the 
Ghreat  Siver  is  about  three  quarters  of  a  mile ;  and  in  order 
to  maintain  an  open  communication  with  the  latter,  the 
Insurgents  have  erected  a  number  of  stockades  and  batteries. 
Kwa  chow,  a  walled  city  on  the  northern  bank,  somewhat 
further  up  than  Chin  keang,  is  much  nearer  to  the  Great 
River,  but  here  also  several  stockaded  batteries  have  been 
constructed.  So  long  as  the  Insurgents  hold  these  two  places 
they  have  complete  command  of  the  great  channel  of  com- 
munication between  the  north  and  south  of  China  by  way 
of  the  Grand  Canal,  called  by  the  Chinese  the  Transport- 
Grain-Canal,  from  its  chief  use Yang  chow  lies 

on  the  Grand  Canal  about  six  or  eight  miles  inland  north  of 
Kwa  chow 

^'  The  distance  from  Chin  keang  to  Nanking  by  the 
Great  River  is  47  British  statute  miles,  a  portion  of  the 
river  which  was  wholly  in  the  power  of  the  Insurgents, 
numbers  of  whose  vessels  were  always  on  the  way  between 
the  two  cities.  The  distance  from  the  most  northerly  angle 
of  the  walls  of  Nanking  to  the  bank  of  the  Great  River  is 
about  half  a  mile,  the  free  communication  being  protected 
as  at  Chin  keang  by  ditches  and  stockaded  batteries ;  at  a 
new  one  of  which  the  Insurgents  were  working  like  ants 
when  the  Hermes  weighed  to  leave.  The  distance  from  the 
most  northerly  angle  of  the  Nanking  walls  southward  to  that 
portion  of  the  enclosed  area  occupied  by  the  present  city  is 
not  less  than  four  miles,  the  intervening  space  consisting  of 


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172  THE  CHINESE   AND  THEIE  KEBELLIONS. 

fields  and  gardens  together  with  a  few  uncnltivated   faUls, 

the  outer  bases  of  which  are  skirted  by  the  walls 

The  Insurgents  had  been  able  to  build  up  with  stone  the 
breach  by  which  they  themselves  entered ;  to  give  the  walls 
throughout,  and  particularly  the  parapets,  a  thorough  repair; 
and  to  convey  large  quantities  of  rice  and  other  proTisions 
from  their  vessels  into  the  city.  .  .  .  •  Chinese  who  had 
fled  from  Nanking,  and  who  by  no  means  sympathised  with 
them,  spoke  of  four,  six  and  eight  years'  provisions ;  and  ridi- 
culed the  idea  of  their  ever  being  starved  out.  Guns  had 
been  planted  at  distances  of  50  to  100  yards  throughout  all 
that  portion  of  the  wall  (some  ten  miles)  seen  by  the  partj 
of  our  countrymen  which  rode  into  the  city;  and  others 
were  being  carried  up  to  the  hills,  mentioned  above  as 
situated  within  the  circuit  of  the  walls,  and  there  planted 
with  considerable  military  skill  in  the  most  commanding 
positions.  Every  day  in  short  saw  the  place  rendered  still 
less  assailable  by  an  Imperialist  besieging  army.  In  the 
meantime  General  Heang  yung  had  established  his  forces  on 
the  New  tow  Hill  opposite  the  southern  front  of  the  city 
(where  the  Porcelain  Tower  stands),  while  his  flotilla  was 
at  anchor  fully  ten  miles  above  it. 

^*  It  is  difficult  to  make  an  estimate  of  the  numbers  of 
the  Insurgents  having  the  authority  of  even  approximation, 
some  accounts  being  manifestly  exaggerations,  others  as  cer- 
tainly under-statements.  It  is  however  thought  that,  at  tho 
four  cities  in  their  possession  there  must  be  from  30  to  40 
thousand  of  devoted  adherents  to  the  cause,  determined  to 
stand  or  fall  with  it.  These  are  chiefly  Kwang  tung, 
Kwang  se  and  Hoo  nan  men,  all  having  long  hair,"*^  and 
several  of  those  from  the  latter  province  being  officers  in 

*  The  present  dynasty,  on  its  advent,  compelled  all  Chinese  to  adopt  the 
Tartar  fashion  of  shaving  the  most  of  the  head  and  wearing  a  tail.  The  Tae 
pings  have  reverted  to  the  native  fashion  again ;  and  hence  are  called  hy  the 
Imperialists,  "  Chang  fa  tsih,  long  haired  rebels."  Among  the  latter,  the 
common  men,  who  of  course  attached  much  weight  to  externals,  were  qaite 
pleased  to  see  that  we  foraigners  had  the  hair  growing  all  over  our  heads. 


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PROCEEDINaS  OP  THE  TAE  PING  REBELS.  173 

command  of  one  or  two  thoosand  men,  (the  higher  leaders 
seemed  to  be  all  from  Kwang  tung  and  Kwang  se.)  Of 
voluntary  and  trusty  adherents,  who  joined  them  in  Hoo  nan 
and  Hoo  pih,  it  is  supposed  there  may  be  about  30  or 
40  thousand  more,  making  their  total  strength  when  they 
invested  Nanking  from  60  to  80  thousand.  Besides  these, 
there  must  be  taken  into  account  at  least  100,000  men, 
perhaps  double  that  number,  of  Nanking,  Yang  chow,  and 
Chin  keang  people,  who  had  not  left  these  cities  when  they 
were  occupied,  and  who  are  now  doing  duty  as  workmen ;  as 
porters,  trench-diggers  and  artificers." 

When  the  Tae  pings  occupied  the  above  four  cities — two  of 
which,  Chin  keang  and  Kwa  chow,  constitute  together  one  of 
the  most  commanding  military  positions  in  the  Empire — they 
acted  emphatically  and  remorselessly  on  the  high  pretensions 
and  claims  of  the  Heavenly  Prince  to  the  persons  and  property 
of  all  Chinese.  They  seized  every  man,  woman  and  child  and 
every  thing  of  the  slightest  value,  and  placed  and  stored  all — 
human  beings  and  things — at  Nanking,  their  great  strong- 
hold; which  was  now  called  the  Heavenly  Capital,  as  the 
residence  of  the  Heavenly  Prince  and  his  Court.  Only  small 
garrisons  of  the  older,  and  trustworthy  adherents  of  the  cause 
were  left  in  the  other  three  cities.  The  able-bodied  males  of 
all  four  cities  were  soon  after  despatched  in  various  directions, 
under  Tae  ping  generals  and  officers,  as  Tae  ping  armies. 
Their  aged  parents,  their  wives,  sisters,  and  children,  were 
all  detained  at  Nanking ;  employed  there,  in  so  far  as  they 
could  be  useful ;  well  fed  and  clothed  out  of  the  abundant 
common  stores ;  but  kept  strictly  prisoners  within  the  works 
of  the  city,  as  hostages  for  the  fidelity  of  their  male  relatives 
in  the  field.  This  is  the  Tae  ping  method  of  pressing,  or 
conscription,^ 

*  This  is  the  place  to  mention  a  circnmstanoe  which  strikingly  proyes  what 
I  hare  thought  it  necessary  to  dwell  on,  in  order  to  prevent  the  Chinese  from 
being  still  more  misunderstood  than  they  already  are,  viz. :  that  the  gentlemen, 
who  in  these  days  devote  themselves  with  great  self-sacrifice  to  the  propagation 
of  CathoUdam  in  China,  are  much  less  able  than  might  be  mppoaed  to  under- 


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174  THf:  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  BEBELLIONS. 

We  have  now  reached  a  point  in  the  history  of  the  Tae 
pings,  where  they  ceased  to  move  from  place  to  place  in 
one  united  body.  Henceforth  while  occupying  permanently 
an  important  position,  extending  over  50  miles  of  a  large 
river  in  the  heart  of  the  country,  they  sent  out  from  that 
position  separate  armies  in  different  directions.  It  is  the 
point  where  the  Tae  ping  movement,  in  its  military  aspect, 
changed  from  what  I  have  called  the  locomotive  and  concen- 
tratedy  to  what  may,  by  way  of  contrast,  be  characterized  as 
the  stationary  and  distributed  phase. 

stand  rightly  social  phenomena  among  the  Chinese.  In  December^  1853,  eight 
months  after  oar  British  yislt  in  the  Hermes,  the  French  Minister  and 
diplomatic  saite  accompanied  by  his  official  interpreter,  a  Macao  Portognese^ 
and  two  French  gentlemen,  Catholie  priests,  went  to  Nanking  in  a  war 
steamer  chiefly,  if  not  altogether  for  the  purpose  of  collecting  information. 
The  vessel  lay  a  .week  at  anchor  before  Nanking,  and  one  of  the  mission- 
aries passed  two  nights  in  that  city.  Yet  when  the  whole  party  had  re- 
turned to  Shanghae,  I  found  that  they  were  quite  unable  to  account  for 
the  ascertained  fact  that  the  rebels  had  an  enormous  number  of  females  shut 
up  in  Nanking.  It  was  not  till  my  explanation,  giyen  in  the  text^  was  com- 
manicated  to  them  that  they  learnt^  it  was  the  Tae  ping  method  of  enforcing 
conscription.  Some  Protestants  may  be  inclined  to  assume  that  the  priests 
did  know  the  reason,  but  withheld  their  knowledge  from  their  lay  countrymen. 
Were  that  the  case  it  would  equally  proTe  that  the  Catholic  accounts  of  China 
are  not  to  be  relied  on.  But  I  do  not  see  that  it  Ib  at  all  necessary  to  assume 
anything  so  injurious  to  the  character  of  the  two  gentlemen.  We  haye  M. 
Hue's  own  authority  for  the  fact  that  the  missionaries  in  the  interior  are  com- 
pelled to  live  too  closely  concealed  among  their  co-religionists  to  learn  anything 
of  heathen  i,  e.  of  really  Chinese  life ;  and  then  every  man  of  experience  must 
admit  that  a  cloiste^educated  celibataiy  cannot  be  expected  rightly  to  compre- 
hend much  of  what  he  does  see  in  the  great  world.  Even  I,  however,  who  had 
long  known  that  the  opportunities  and  powers  of  observation  of  the  Catholic 
missionaries  qf  the  present  day  were  greatly  over-rated,  was  surprised  at  their 
having  been  unable  to  account,  when  on  the  spot,  for  a  striking  and  important 
fiwjt,  perfectly  understood  by  me,  months  before  they  went  to  Nanking. 


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LATEST  MILITAET  BISTORT  OP  THE  TAE  PINGS.  175 


CHAPTER  XIV. 

MIUTAST  HISTORY  OP  THE  TAE  PINGS,  APTER  THE  OCCUPATION 
OF  NANKING,  UP  TO  THE  PRESENT  TIME. 

On  or  about  the  12th  May,  1853,  an  armj  of  Tae  pings, 

detached  from  Nanking,  effected  a  landing  on  the  northern 

bank  of  the  Great  Siver,  where  they  defeated,  and  captured 

the  baggage  of  a  body  of  Tartars,  who  had  been  brought 

down  from  Northern  Manchooria,  and  on  whom  the  Emperor 

had  placed  great  reliance.     On  the  16th  May,  they  defeated 

another  body  of  Tartars  at  Lew  ho.     On  the  evening  of  the 

28th  May,  they  took  the  departmental  city,  Fung  yang,  from 

whence  they  advanced  by  way  of  Po  chow  and  Kwei  tih  to 

Kae  fungy  the  capital  of  Honan ;  where  they  appeared  on  the 

19th  June.   On  the  22nd  they  made  an  unsuccessful  attempt 

to  take  Kae  fung  by  storm.     They  then  crossed  the  Yellow 

River  and  marched  to  the  departmental  city  of  Hwae  king, 

about  100  miles  to  the  west  of  Kae  fung.     They  spent  about 

two  months  in  an  unsuccessful  siege  of  Hwae  king,  they 

themselves  being,  duriug  the  second  month,  subjected  to  the 

attacks  of  the  Imperial  forces  in  the  field,  which  had  as- 

sembled  to  prevent  their  further  advance.     The  Tae  ping 

camps  commanded  the  Tan  river  which,  flowing  eastward, 

becomes  further  on  the  Wei,  under  which  name  it  joins  the 

Grand  Canal  at  Lin  tsing,  on  the  northern  side  of  the  highest 

level  of  the  Canal  waters.    It  constitutes^  therefore,  the  head 

of  a  continuous  water  communication  doum'-stream  to  Teen 

tsin,  the  port  of  Peking.     This  water  communication  is  not 

to  be  compared,  in  point  of  magnitude,  with  that  formed  by 

the  Seang  and  the  Great  Biver,  by  which  the  rebels  had 


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176  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIK  REBELLIONS. 

descended  about  a  year  before  from  Kwang  se  to  Nanking ; 
but  it  is  sufficiently  large  for  the  transport  of  the  munitions 
of  war  in  the  smaller  river  craft  of  China ;  and  there  can  be 
little  doubt  that  the  prolonged  efforts  of  the  Tae  pings  to 
take  Hwae  king,  in  itself  but  a  second-rate  city,  proceeded 
from  a  desire  to  establish  there  a  basis  of  operations,  and  to 
facilitate  an  advance  from  thence,  by  the  easy  route  of  the 
Wei  river  and  the  Grand  Canal,  on  Peking.  There  are  two 
other  circumstances  which  make  Hwae  king  an  important 
strategical  point:  the  Sin  river,  which  flows  by  it  in  the 
south,  is  an  affluent  of  the  Yellow  River  and  opens  a  com- 
munication with  the  East;  and  it  lies  on  the  great  roate 
which  goes  west  through  the  province  of  Shan  se  to  Peking. 
But  this  latter  route  is  entirely  a  land  road  and  crosses  a 
mountain  ridge. 

The  fact,  therefore,  that  the  Tae  pings,  when  they  raised 
the  siege  of  Hwae  king  on  the  Ist  September  marched  west- 
wards by  it  into  Shan  se,  shows  that  the  Imperial  forces 
were  strong  enough  to  prevent  their  descent  by  the  Wei 
river.  The  westward  movement  was,  however,  so  little 
guarded  against  by  the  Imperialists  that  the  Tae  pings  took 
the  district  city  of  Yuen  keuh  on  the  4th  September,  and  on 
the  12th  September  the  departmental  city  of  Pingyang; 
after  taking  the  district  cities  of  Fung  and  Keuh  wuh  on  the 
way.  From  thence  they  proceeded,  first  in  an  easterly,  then 
in  a  north-easterly  direction  by  way  of  the  district  cities  of 
Hung  tung,  Tun  lew,  Lo  ching,  Le  ching,  She  been,  and 
Woo  gan — all  of  which  they  entered^to  the  Lin  ming  pass, 
in  the  ridge  between  the  provinces  of  Ho  nan  and  Chih 
le.  They  then  defeated  a  Manchoo  force,  and  debouched 
into  Chih  le  on  the  29th  September.  On  the  30th 
September  they  entered  the  district  city  of  Sha  ho ;  on 
the  1st  of  October,  that  of  Jin  been ;  and  on  the  2nd  those 
of  Lung  ping  and  Pih  heang.  On  the  4th  October  they 
took  the  departmental  city  of  Chaou  chow;  and  on  the 
6  th  the  district  city  of  Lwan  ching.     On  the  same  day  they 


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LATEST  MILITABT  HISTORY  OP  THE  TAB  PINGS.         177 

took  the  district  dtj  of  Kaou  ching^  situated  on  the  Bouthem 
bank  of  the  Hoo  to.  On  the  8th  they  left  that  city,  crossed 
the  Hoo  to  by  a  floating  bridge,  which  they  themselyes  con- 
structed, and  took  the  district  city  of  Tsin  chow.  On  the 
9th  October  they  took  the  departmental  city  of  Shin  chow, 
where  they  remained  for  fourteen  days,  till  the  22nd9  when 
they  proceeded  to  the  district  cities  of  Heen  and  Keaou  ho, 
entering  the  latter  on  the  25th  of  October.  From  thence  they 
proceeded  by  the  Grand  Canal  to  the  district  city  of  Tsing 
hae  and  to  Tub  lew,  an  unwalled  town  of  some  little  com- 
mercial importance  a  few  miles  to  the  north  of  it.  Both  of 
these  places,  which  they  occupied  about  the  28th  October, 
are  situated  on  the  Grand  Canal  about  twenty  miles  to  the 
south  of  Teen  tsin  and  about  one  hundred  miles  from  Peking. 
One  of  their  advanced  parties  appeared  before  Teen  tsin  on 
the  30th  October,  but  was  repulsed  with  some  loss ;  and  the 
whole  army  was  immediately  afterwards,  i.e.  in  the  first  days 
of  November,  1853,  blockaded  in  its  position  at  Tsing  hae 
and  Tuh  lew,  by  the  forces  that  had  been  following  it  from 
Hwae  king,  as  well  as  by  those  detached  from  Peking. 
These  latter  were  composed  chiefly  of  a  portion  of  the 
Manchoo  garrison  of  that  city,  aided  by  4,500  Mongols, 
veritable  nomads,  who  had  been  brought  in  from  beyond  the 
Ghreat  Wall.  The  want  of  cavalry,  to  cope  with  these  bom 
horsemen,  was  doubtless  one  of  the  causes  why  the  Tae 
pings  were  unable  to  approach  nearer  to  Peking.  The 
Imperial  Guzettes  and  a  letter  despatched  to  me  from  Peking 
at  that  period  showed  that  the  Court  and  Capital  were 
greatly  alarmed;  but  the  danger  was  averted,  and  they  have 
not  since  been  so  seriously  menaced. 

The  march  of  this  Tae  ping  army  from  Nanking  to  Tsing 
hae  is  one  of  the  most  remarkable  of  which  hbtory  gives 
record.  The  whole  of  the  above  particulars  are,  I  must 
observe,  taken  from  the  **  Peking  Gazette,''  the  Imperialist 
organ ;  the  statements  in  which  must  be  interpreted  as  we, 
if  without  our  own  accounts,  would  interpret  those  about  the 


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178  THE  CHIKESE  AND  THEIB  BEBELU0N8. 

Allies  in  the  Buasian  journals  published  for  the  Bnssian 
people.  Now  the  distance  which  the  anny  marched  ia  its 
advance  from  Nanking  to  Tsing  hae  is  not  less  than  thirteen 
to  fourteen  hundred  miles^  and  the  very  day  that  it  left  the 
northern  bank  of  the  Great  Biver  opposite  Nanking,  all 
communication  with  its  friends  at  the  latter  place  was  cut 
off;  with  the  exception  of  such  correspondence  as  could  be 
maintained  by  disguised  messengers.  It  was  immediately 
followed  by  a  force  of  the  Imperialists^  detached  from  their 
armies  of  obserration  near  Nanking  and  Chin  keang;  apart 
from  which  the  local  troops  always  closed  in  its  rear  as  it 
advanced.  The  spectacle  of  this  army^  so  isolated,  making 
its  way  perseyeringly  northwards,  in  spite  of  constantly 
accumulating  difficulties  in  the  shape  of  inclement  weather 
and  more  numerous  as  well  as  more  efficient  foes,  swerving 
first  to  the  west  then  to  the  east,  but  never  turning  south- 
ward during  a  period  of  six  months, — ^this  spectacle  speaks 
powerfully  for  the  strength  of  the  Tae  ping  organization.  It 
is  pretty  well  established  that  none  of  the  five  subordinate 
Tae  ping  Princes,  still  less  the  ^^  Heavenly  Prince  "  himself 
accompanied  it ;  for  the  Imperialist  accounts  of  battles  fought 
on  the  route,  while  they  make  frequent  mention  of  ''fidse 
Ministers,"  "  false  Army  Superintendents  ^  and  "  false  Gene- 
rals," as  they  term  the  Tae  ping  ofiicers  bearing  such  titles^ 
never  speak  of  any  **  false  Prince  "  being  with  them.  On  the 
other  hand,  when  the  Tae  ping  army  was  engaged  in  its  two 
months'  siege  of  Hwae  king,  and  was  in  its  turn  there  attacked 
by  Imperialist  armies  in  the  field,  the  fact  of  the  '^fidse 
Minister,  Lin  fung  tseang  "  having  '<  himself"  headed  5,000 
men  in  order  to  stimulate  them  in  an  attack,  is  mentioned  by 
the  Ghizette  in  such  manner  as  leads  to  the  inference  that 
this  man  was  the  known  Commander-in-chief.  It  was,  there- 
fore, some  of  their  third  and  fourth  rate  men  whom  the  Tae 
ping  leaders  could  entrust  with  the  execution  of  this  bold 
and  perilous  attempt  on  the  very  stronghold  of  the  Manchoo 
power.    How  faithfully  the  commanders  strove  to  carry  out 


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LATEST  MILITABT  HISTOBY  OF  THE  TAE  PINGS.  179 

their  instractions^  the  reader  will  have  perceived  from  the 
above  narrative.  The  Gazettes  gave  details  of  a  defeat — 
pictured  as  almost  ruinous — inflicted  on  the  Tae  pings  as 
ihey  were  approaching  Eaou  ching  on  the  6th  October. 
That  some  severe  losses  were  really  sustained  by  them  about 
that  time,  is  rendered  probable  by  the  circumstance  of  their 
aide  march  to  Shin  chow,  and  their  stay  in  that  place  of 
fourteen  days'  duration.  When  they  eventually  stopped  at 
Tsing  hae  and  Tub  lew,  it  could  only  have  been  from  inabi- 
lity to  force  their  way  further;  for  these  places  do  not  con- 
Btitute  a  station  of  strategical  importance,  while  Teen  tsin, 
only  twenty  miles  farther  on,  lies  in  a  commanding  situation 
and  is  a  very  large  and  populous  city. 

No  indication  is  given  in  the  Gazettes  of  the  numbers 
of  the  Tae  pings  at  the  time  of  their  occupation  of  Tsing  hae ; 
except  that  ''seven  or  eight  thousand '^  are  spoken  of  as 
having  made  a  sally  from  it  on  the  Ist  November.  Whatever 
their  strength,  they  resolved  to  maintain  themselves  there, 
while  awaiting  relief  from  their  friends  at  Nanking. 

On  receipt  of  the  intelligence  of  the  stoppage  of  their  army 
at  Tsing  hae,  the  Tae  ping  leaders  did  immediately  make 
preparations  for  despatching  a  second  army  to  its  aid.  About 
the  same  time  that  the  first  army  started  for  the  North, 
another  was  despatched  up  the  Great  River  to  the  Fo  yang 
lake.  This  left  a  force  in  occupation  of  Gan  king,  the  pro- 
Tindal  capital  of  Gan  hwuy;  which  subsequently  became 
a  basis  for  operations,  directed  northward  against  the  central 
portion  of  that  province.  The  district  city  of  Tung  ching 
was  first  taken,  then  on  the  29th  November,  1853,  that  of 
Shoo  ching,  and  on  the  14th  January,  1864,  the  departmental 
city  of  Loo  chow ;  where  the  Governor  of  the  province  had 
stationed  himself,  and  was  then  slain.  Previous  to  this,  the  Tae 
pings  had  (on  the  26th  December)  withdrawn  their  garrison 
from  the  large  city  of  Yang  chow,  situated  on  the  Grand 
CSanal  a  little  to  the  north  of  Kwa  chow.  The  Imperialist 
Commanders  told  me  at  the  time  that  this  had  doubtless 

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180  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  SEBELLIOK8. 

been  done  in  order  to  have  more  men  ayailable  for  the  field. 
Eighteen  days  later,  Loo  chow  was,  as  we  have  seen,  taken, 
aod  on  the  17  th  February  the  district  dty  of  Lnh  gan.  From 
their  position  at  these  two  places  the  Auxiliary  Army  of  the 
Tae  pings  appears  to  have  marched  for  the  north.  The  Peking 
Gazettes  did  not  furnish  us  with  the  means  of  tracing  its 
route  so  accurately  as  that  of  the  first  Northern  Army ;  but 
it  certiunly  passed  by  way  of  the  Yin  shang  and  Mung  ching 
district  cities  to  the  Yellow  River  opposite  the  Fung  district 
city.  It  crossed  the  river,  entered  the  Fung  district  city  on 
the  17th  March,  and  moved  straight  on  the  important  de- 
partmental city  of  Lin  tsing,  taking  as  the  Emperor  ex- 
pressed it,  in  censuring  his  officers,  *'  city  after  city  "  on  its 
way.  Marching  at  the  rate  of  about  fifteen  miles  a  day, 
from  Fung  to  Lin  tsing,  it  appeared  before  the  latter  city  on 
the  1st  April ;  and  the  4th  was  attacked  there  by  some  of 
the  Imperialist  Generals,  that  had  been  fighting  throughout 
the  winter  with  the  first  Northern  Army. 

This  latter  evacuated  Tsing  hae  and  Tub  lew,  on  the  5th 
February,  1854,  just  three  months  after  it  occupied  that  po- 
sition, and  commenced,  about  nine  months  aft;er  starting  from 
Nanking,  its  retrograde  lAarch.  In  the  first  instance  these  Tae 
pings  proceeded  only  a  few  days'  march  to  the  south  and  then 
occupied  a  position,  including  several  villages,  a  little  to  the 
north  of  the  Heen  district  city,  till  the  7th  March ;  when 
they  again  broke  up  and  marched  into  the  last-named  place. 
From  thence  they  proceeded  to  the  Fow  ching  district  city, 
which  they  occupied  on  the  10th  March.  Here  they  are 
shown  us,  fighting  with  the  Imperialists,  in  the  month  of  June 
following,  after  which  the  Gazettes  make  no  more  mention 
of  thorn.  But  there  is  much  reason  for  believing  that  they 
effected  a  junction  about  that  time  with  the  Auxiliary  Army 
at  Lin  tsing,  from  which  Fow  ching  is  only  100  miles 
distant. 

The  Auxiliary  Army  must  have  appeared  before  Lin  tsing 
in  great  strength,  for  they  took  that  city  by  storm  on  the 


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LATEST  MILITARY  HISTORY  OP  THE  TAE  PINGS.         181 

12th  April  in  the  face  of  the  Imperialist  forces  in  the  field ; 
whose  Manchoo  and  Mongol  cavaliy  had  been  constantly 
attacking  them  from  the  4th. 

On  the  3d  May  a  portion  of  the  Tae  ping  Northern  armies 
agun  occupied  the  Fung  district  city  on  the  Yellow  Eiver, 
which  that  portion  then  recrossed  in  its  way  southward;  but 
a  large  portion  must  have  remained^  for  we  find  them  taking 
the  district  city  of  Kaou  tang — situated  about  forty  miles  to 
the  east  of  Lin  tsing— on  the  28th  May ;  and  it  was  not 
until  the  ten  months  later^  viz.  in  March,  1855,  that  they 
finally  evacuated  that  part  of  the  country,  and  made  their 
way  to  the  south  again.  With  what  degree  of  success  they 
efifected  this,  the  Gazettes  have  not  furnished  us  with  any 
means  of  judging.  But  the  Imperialist  authorities  at  Shanghae 
maintaiu,  and  their  assertions  appear  to  be  in  this  instance 
reliable,  that  there  are  now  no  rebels  in  the  country  north  of 
the  YeDow  River. 

From  what  the  Tae  ping  Commandant  of  Chin  keang  told 
me  personally,  in  July,  1853, 1  infer  that  the  Princes  at  Nan- 
king, when  they  despatched  the  first  army  to  the  north,  really 
did  hope  that  it  might  be  successful  in  reaching  and  taking 
Peking,  and  that  they  might  thus  aehieve  the  conquest  of  the 
Empire  by  a  bold  military  cowp^  In  all  such  hopes  they 
have  been  disappointed.  If  they,  however,  merely  intended 
that  their  Northern  Army  should  engage  the  chief  attention, 
and  all  the  best  forces  of  the  Imperialists  beyond  the  Yellow 
River,  while  they  were  extending  and  consolidating  their 
power  in  the  valley  of  the  Great  River ;  then  their  tactics 
were  attended  with  great  success.  For  at  the  very  time  when 
I  had  the  conversation  with  the  Commandant  of  Chin  keang 
just  alluded  to,  I  saw  a  corps  of  the  Imperialists,  which  had 
till  then  been  assisting  in  the  siege  of  that  city,  hurried  away 
from  before  it — though  untaken — in  order  to  pursue  the 
Northern  Tae  ping  army;  intelligence  of  whose  advance  to 
the  Yellow  River  had  just  arrived.  From  that  time  up  to 
the  most  recent  dates,  the  Imperialist  Provincial  Authorities, 


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182  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  BEBELLI0N8. 

in  the  middle  and  south  of  China,  have  been  abandoned  to 
their  own  resources :  no  aid,  whether  in  men  or  money,  has 
been  furnished  by  the  Supreme  Government.  The  conse- 
quence has  been  that  the  Tae  pings  have  had  for  some  two 
years  an  almost  complete  command  of  the  Great  Biyer  firom 
Chin  keang  on  the  east  to  Yo  chow  on  the  west,  together 
with  the  country  on  each  bank,  extending  from  50  to  100 
miles  inland,  and  further  inclusive  of  the  two  large  lakes, 
Tung  ting  and  Po  yang,  with  their  shores  and  navigable 
feeders.  The  colouring  on  the  Map  of  China  Proper  will 
give  the  reader  a  tolerably  accurate  idea  of  the  extent  of 
country  they  have  commanded.  I  say  ^commanded,*'  for 
though  they  appear  to  have  taken  every  city  within  the  terri- 
tory indicated  that  they  tried  to  take — the  important  cities 
of  Nan  chang,  Chang  sha,  and  King  chow  excepted — ^many 
of  the  lesser  district  cities  were  scarcely  worthy  of  a  visit 
under  present  circumstances  ;  while  only  the  more  important 
places  could  be  permanently  occupied.  The  following  dates 
and  details  close  my  narrative  of  the  military  proceedings  of 
the  Tae  pings. 

As  already  stated,  a  Tae  ping  army  was  despatched  soon 
after  the  occupation  of  Nanking  up  the  course  of  the  Great 
River  and  into  the  Po  yang  lake,  on  the  southern  shore  of 
which  is  situated  Nan  chang,  the  capital  of  Keang  se.  This 
the  Tae  pings  began  to  besiege  about  the  end  of  June,  1853, 
but^  being  unsuccessful  in  their  first  attacks  and  the  Impe- 
rialists having  collected  a  force  {a  portion  of  which  was  drawn 
from  their  army  lying  in  the  vicinity  of  Nanking)  which  in  its 
turn  assailed  them,  they  raised  the  siege  on  the  24th  Sep- 
tember. But  while  there,  they  detached  forces  westward  to 
the  departmental  city  of  Suy  chow  and  southward  to  the 
district  city  of  Fung  ching ;  both  of  which  they  took  in  the 
beginning  of  August.  They  soon  evacuated  these  cities,  but 
only,  as  the  Gazettes  admitted,  after  their  object  of  collecting 
provisions  had  been  attained.  The  Imperialist  authorities  in 
Shanghae  told  me  at  the  time,  that  it  was  plain  from  the  pro- 


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LATEST  MILITARY  HI8T0ET  OP  THE  TAB  PINGS,  183 

ceedings  of  this  particular  Tae  ping  force^  that  the  main  pur- 
pose of  its  irruptiiMx  into  Keang  Be  was  the  collection  of  rice 
and  of  whatever  money  or  other  things  of  value  it  could  cap- 
ture ;  and  that  it  had  no  intenticm  of  holding  the  places  it  en- 
tered. All  cities  near  the  shores  of  the  Po  yang  Lake,  or  on  the 
rivers  that  fall  into  it,  would  seem  to  have  been  visited  in  this 
manner.  Thus  about  the  16th  September  the  departmental 
city  of  Jaou  chow  and  the  district  city  of  Lo  ping,  both  situ- 
ated on  the  east  of  the  Lake,  were  taken  by  a  squadron,  but 
evacuated  almost  immediately.  The  whole  of  the  north  of 
Keang  se  is  meontioned  as  being  commanded  by  the  "  rebels  *' 
in  March,  1854,  and  so  it  appears  to  have  remained  ever  since. 
Nan  chang,  the  provincial  capital,  has  however  not  been  taken 
by  the  Tae  pings. 

Li  the  spring  of  1854  we  find  the  Tae  pings  had  taken 
Yo  chow  and  appeared  in  force  on  the  Tung  ting  Lake. 
They  had  penetrated  a  considerable  distance  up  the  Seang, 
where  they  re-entered  the  district  city  of  Seang  yin,  one 
of  the  places  occupied  by  them  on  their  way  down  from 
Kwang  se  about  a  year  before.  They  even  extended  their 
operations  beyond  the  provincial  capital,  Chang  sha;  having 
taken  the  district  cities  of  Seang  tan  and  Le  ling,  both  lying 
southwards  from  that  place.  On  the  1 1  th  June  they  took  the 
departmental  city  of  Chang  tih,  and  on  the  18th  the  district 
city  of  Taou  yuen,  both  situated  on  the  Yuen,  an  important 
south-westerly  feeder  of  the  Tung  ting  Lake.  On  the  Ta 
keang,  the  Great  Biver  itself,  they  attempted  the  depart- 
mental city  of  King  chow,  which  is  of  importance  as  being 
situated  at  a  point  on  the  stream  which  commands  access  by 
it  to  the  west  of  China  Proper.  It  is  therefore  held  by  a 
Manchoo  garrison.  They  did  not  take  this  city,  but  they 
passed  it  and  took  the  departmental  city  of  E  chang  situated 
about  100  miles  further  up  the  river.  This  was  the  extreme 
western  point  to  which  their  operations  extended. 

Their  main  force  in  that  quarter  laid  siege  to  Woo  chang, 
the  capital  of  Hoo  pih,  in  the  end  of  April,  and,  after  a  siege 
of  eighty  days,  took  it  on  the  26th  June.     This  provincial 


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184  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  fiEBELLIONS. 

capital^  with  the  two  cities  of  Han  yang  and  Han  kow  lying 
opposite  it  on  the  Great  Biver  (and  which  were  also  taken) 
constitutes  the  most  important  internal  mart  in  China.  In  a 
note  at  page  11,  it  has  been  shown  that  the  population  of 
the  three  places  cannot  be  taken  at  less  than  three  to  four 
millions.  The  Emperor  ordered  the  immediate  decapitation 
of  the  Oovemor  of  the  Province,  who  had  escaped  to  Chang 
sha,  where  he  was  accordingly  seized  and  beheaded.  There 
had  been  many  Imperial  condemnations  to  death  before,  but 
since  the  outbreak  of  the  rebellion  this  was  the  first  occasion 
of  an  officer,  so  high  in  rank^  actually  suffering  capital 
punishment  on  account  of  failure — a  circumstance  which 
proves  the  great  value  set  on  the  places  lost. 

On  the  13th  and  14th  of  October  the  Tae  pings  withdrew, 
after  a  three  months'  occupation,  from  these  cities  of  Han 
yang,  Han  kow  and  Woo  chang ;  and  about  the  same  period 
from  a  number  of  the  surrounding  district  cities  that  had 
been  in  their  possession,  and  retired  down  the  Grreat  River 
again,  in  the  direction  of  Nanking.  As  nearly  all  the  cities 
visited  by  them  on  the  occasion  of  this  move  into  Hoo  pih 
and  Hoonan  are  situated  on  various  affluents  of  the  Great 
Siver,  it  is  probable  that  their  purpose  was  here  also,  as  in 
Keang  se,  to  collect  supplies ;  which  could  then  be  conveyed 
with  much  facility  down-stream  to  Nanking.  The  Im- 
perialist Commanders  who  dogged  them  out  of  the  province 
reported,  as  is  usual  with  them  under  such  circumstances, 
victory  after  victory,  on  re-occupying  the  evacuated  cities ; 
and  about  the  end  of  1854  they  were  enabled  to  announce 
the  clearance  of  the  two  provinces.  But  at  the  very  time 
that  this  satisfactory  intelligence  reached  the  Emperor,  the 
Tae  pings  again  moved  into  Hoo  pih  in  great  force ;  occupied 
Han  kow  on  the  20th  February,  1855,  and  about  a  month 
later  took  Woo  chang  for  the  third  time.  The  Imperial 
Governor  General  fell  when  the  city  was  stormed.  This  is 
our  latest  authentic  intelligence  of  the  doings  of  the  Tae 
pings  in  the  West  of  China. 

With  respect  to  the  centre  of  their  position,  thev  still 


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LATEST  MIUTABT  HI8T0BY  OF  THE  TAE  PINGS.  185 

faold^  on  the  northern  front,  Loo  chow ;  while  on  the  eonth 
they  command  the  Po  yang  Lake.  On  the  east  they  have 
attempted  no  advance  since  April,  1853,  contenting  them- 
selves with  simply  holding  the  very  important  military 
position  of  Chin  keang  and  Kwa  chow,  situated  on  the 
Great  River  where  it  intersects  the  Grand  Canal.  But  the 
mails  which  left  China  in  September  last  have  brought  a 
report  of  considerable  interest,  viz.:  that  the  Tae  ping 
Eastern  Prince  at  the  head  of  an  army  of  60,000  men  was 
advancing  on  the  departmental  city  of  Hwuy  chow,  situated 
on  the  Sin  gan,  an  affluent  of  the  Tseen  tang,  at  the  mouth 
of  which  lies  the  famous  and  important  city  of  Hang  chow, 
the  provincial  capital  of  Che  keang.  If  the  report  respecting 
this  march  on  the  part  of  the  Eastern  Prince  be  correct,  the 
most  obvious  inference  is  that  the  Tae  pings  intend  to 
attempt  a  descent  on  Hang  chow,  for  the  purpose  of  open- 
ing a  communication  with  the  sea  without  necessarily  coming 
into  collision  with  Occidental  nations.  For,  as  the  reader 
will  see  from  the  ensuing  chapters,  while  the  international 
representatives  of  Occidental  states  have  paid  a  few  visits  of 
enquiry  to  Nanking,  and  there  announced  a  strict  neutrality 
as  to  the  contending  parties  in  China,  a  number  of  the  pri- 
vate ships  and  subjects  of  these  States  were  from  the  first 
engaged  in  obstructing  the  advance  of  the  Tae  pings  east- 
ward by  the  Great  River,  and  have  since  been  lending 
material  assistance  to  the  Imperialist  besieging  and  block- 
ading forces  at  Chin  keang  and  Kwa  chow. 

In  the  articles  on  the  Tae  pings  and  their  then  probable 
future  which  I  contributed  to  the  *^  North  China  Herald  "  in 
May,  1853,  after  our  return  from  our  visit  of  enquiry  in  the 
Hermes f  I  was  obliged  to  devote  a  portion  of  my  space  to  the 
refutation  of  the  erroneous  notions  which  were  being  propa- 
gated by  some  of  our  party,  who,  forming  their  judgments  of 
the  rebels  mainly  from  the  irregular  dresses  worn  by  the  mass 
of  these  campaigners,  and  their  somewhat  wild  looking  long 
hair,  pronounced  the  whole  body  to  be  **  low  blackguards,*' 


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186  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

''a  set  of  damned  ruffians/'  &c.  &c.  Among  other  things  they 
maintained  that  as  the  Tae  pings  were,  wh^ti  we  left  them, 
being  gradually  invested  at  Nanking  and  Chin  keang  by  the 
gathering  forces  of  the  Imperialists,  so  they  would  certainly 
be  there  finally  shut  up  and  exterminated.  After  a  short 
notice  of  their  rise  and  extraordinary  progress,  I  took  occa- 
sion to  oppose  that  opinion  as  follows : 

'^  Is  it  in  accordance  with  experience  or  common  sense  to 
assume  that  men  of  courage  and  noble  ambition,  such  as  they 
have  proved  themselves  to  be,  will,  after  the  wondrous 
success  that  has  attended  their  efforts,  now  fold  their  hands 
and  submit  to  be  extinguished — snuffed  out  as  it  were — ^in 
the  commanding  military  position  their  swords  have  won 
them  ?  We  have  agsun  left  ourselves  no  space  to  ^ve  such 
few  details  as  the  Hermes  could  learn  of  their  numbers,  present 
position,  &c.  Suffice  it  to  say  that  when  she  left  they  were 
diligently  employed  in  strengthening  the  defences  of  the 
cities  they  hold.  That  work  finished,  they  are  not  likely  to 
sit  down  idle." 

At  the  very  time  when  these  words  were  being  written 
and  published  at  Shanghae,  a  large  Tae  ping  naval  force  had 
started  for  the  West  to  collect  supplies;  while  their  Northaii 
Army  was  marching  from  Nanking  on  its  bold  and  perse- 
vering attempt  to  force  its  way  to  the  stronghold  of  its 
adversaries. 

When  describing,  in  the  articles  mentioned,  the  then  Tae 
ping  position  at  Nanking,  Chin  keang,  Kwachow,  and  Yang 
chow,  I  stated : 

"  Yang  chow  lies  on  the  Grand  Canal  about  six  or  eight 
miles  inland  north  of  Kwa  chow.  As  one  of  the  richest  cities 
in  central  China  and  lying  at  so  short  a  distance  from  Ewa 
chow,  it  was  of  importance  to  the  Insurgents  to  expel  the 
Imperialists  and  possess  themselves  of  it ;  but  the  strength 
of  their  position  in  a  simply  military  point  of  view  would  not 
seem  to  be  increased  by  continuing  to  hold  it,  since  it  is 
necessary  to  detach  a  considerable  force  for  that  purpose, 


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LATEST  MILITABT  HISTORY  OF  THE  TAB  PINGS.  187 

while  the  communication  by  the  Canal  would  be  equaUy  as 
much  in  their  power  were  they  to  confine  themselves  to  the 
occupation  of  Kwa  chow  alone." 

Seven  months  after  that  passage  was  written,  the  Tae  pings 
(m  December,  1853)  did  execute  the  very  strategical  operation 
therein  indicated  as  expedient :  they  withdrew  their  garrison 
from  Yang  chow»  and  have  since  held  Kwa  chow  only  on 
that  side  of  the  river. 

While  estimating  the  power  of  the  Manchoo  dynasty  to 
withstand  the  Tae  pings,  I  wrote : 

"  As  to  Tartar  Chieftains  moving  down  with  their  people 
at  their  own  cost,  as  we  have  seen  it  somewhere  stated  certain 
of  them  had  offered  to  do,  we  can  perfectly  comprehend  why 
the  Emperor  had,  as  was  also  stated,  declined  the  offer.  It 
could  only  have  emanated  from  some  of  the  hereditary  Mongol 
Princes  of  whom  no  one  knows  better  than  the  Manchoo 
Court  that  they  have  never  forgotten  their  descent  from 
Genghis  Khan  and  his  associates,  the  former  rulers,  not  of 
China  merely,  but  of  all  Asia  and  the  east  of  Europe.  They 
have  always  been  objects  of  apprehension  and  jealousy  to  the 
reigning  dynasty.  It  is  by  no  means  improbable  that  they 
and  their  followers,  bred  in  the  saddle  and  accustomed  to  the 
hardy  life  of  nomadic  herdsmen  in  sterile  regions,  would,  if 
BOW  brought  in,  be  able  to  hold  all  that  portion  of  China, 
north  of  the  Yellow  Biver,  for  years  against  a  dynasty  esta- 
blished in  the  south :  but  it  is  equally  probable  that  they 
would  hold  it  for  themselves,  not  for  the  Manchoo  Sovereign. 
As  to  the  low,  canal-intersected  coimtry,  south  of  the  Yellow 
River,  these  horsemen,  to  whom  a  boat  must  be  somewhat  of 
a  curiosity,  would  there  have  small  chance  of  coping  with  the 
Kwang  tung  leaders  and  their  army,  men  familiar  with  in- 
ternal navigation  from  childhood  and  now  inured  to  the 
hardships  and  dangers  of  war." 

Subsequent  events  have  proved  that  in  the  above  sentences, 
I  very  correctly  appreciated  the  difficulties  the  Tae  pings 
had  to  encounter.     The  jealousy  of  the  Emperor  did  make 


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188  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

him  guard  so  carefuUj  against  the  danger  I  have  indicated, 
that^  even  when  the  Tae  ping  Northern  Army  was  making 
most  alarming  progress,  he  refrained  from  bringing  within  the 
Great  Wall  more  than  two  Mongol  princes,  with  4^500  fol- 
lowers. But  these,  with  the  still  wild  Tartars  of  his  own 
race,  whom  the  Emperor  brought  down  from  old  Manchooria, 
and  from  the  Amour  Valley,  were  sufficient  to  contend  suc- 
cessfully with  the  Tae  pings  on  the  "  north  of  the  Yellow 
Biver.**  They  have^  as  the  narrative  has  just  shown  us, 
expelled  the  remnants  of  two  Tae  ping  armies  from  ''  that 
portion  of  China,''  after  an  obstinate  struggle  of  two  years' 
duration. 

The  valley  of  the  Great  Biver  has  now  again  become  the 
exclusive  scene  of  the  war ;  and  on  a  much  more  extensive 
scale  than  when  the  Tae  pings  first  fought  their  way  through 
it  to  Nanking.  The  Tartar  horsemen  will  assuredly  do  as 
little  there  as  I,  in  1850,  anticipated;  but  the  Imperialist 
Chinese  mandarins,  especially  those  who  are  natives  of  the 
South  Eastern  Coastland,  have  been  straining  every  nerve 
to  bring  up  semi-piratical  bodies  of  their  seafaring  com- 
patriots against  the  Tae  pings.  At  the  end  of  a  five  years' 
ceaseless  fight,  these  have  still  before  them  the  same  life  and 
death  struggle.  Eighteen  hundred  and  fifty-six  will  be  a 
memorable  historical  year.  For  in  the  Far  East  and  in  the 
Near  East  it  will  see  hundreds  of  thousands  of  men  engaged 
in  deadly  strife  for  the  highest  earthly  prizes. 


I  must  now  crave  the  indulgence  of  the  reader  while 
I  make,  for  his  sake  as  well  as  my  own,  an  explanation  of  a 
somewhat  personal  nature. 

I  have  in  the  last  three  pages  and  in  several  other  parts 
of  this  volume  taken  pains  to  show  that  I  had  foreseen  and 
distinctly  foretold  grave  coming  events ;  or  that  I  had  been 
the  first  to  recommend  measures  subsequently  recognised  as 
important  and  much  wanted.  Thus  I  have  shown  in 
Chapter  III.  of  the  Essay  on  Civilization  that,  nine  years 


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LATEST  MILITARY  HISTORY  OF  THE  TAE  PINGS.  18^ 

ago,  when  I  wrote  my  work  "  Desultory  Notes  on  China,'* 
one  of  its  main  objects  was  to  insist  on  the  advisability  of 
establishing  in  the  British  Empire  a  system  of  Competitive 
Examinations  for  the  Public  Service,  in  order  to  enable  it  to 
withstand  coming  aggressions  of  Russia  and  America.  The 
war  with  Russia,  the  frequently  inimical  attitude  of  America, 
and  public  service  competitive  examinations,  are  now  the 
three  subjects  of  deepest  interest  to  England. 

Again,  I  have  shown  at  pages  121,  122,  by  an  extract 
from  the  same  book,  and  by  another  from  a  private  letter, 
that  I  foresaw  the  advent  of  rebellions  and  dynastic  civil 
wars  in  China  long  before  they  actually  broke  out.  I  did 
not  write  in  one  part  of  the  book  in  such  style  as  might  seem 
to  intimate  that  rebellion  was  approaching ;  and  in  another 
part  rather  to  the  effect  that  the  existing  dynasty  was  after 
all  strong  and  that  serious  rebellion  could  not  well  ensue  ;  in 
order  that  I  might  subsequently  endeavour  to  prove  myself 
a  prophet  by  pointing  to  that  set  of  oracular  speculations 
which  fitted  the  event.  I  announced  rebellion  only ;  in  the 
book — ^written  four  years  before  the  event — I  stated  causes, 
and  said  '^  nothing  was  more  likely  "  to  ensue ;  in  the  letter 
— written  a  year  before  the  event — I  stated  that  we  were 
then  actually  "entering  on"  the  first  phase. 

I  have  no  intention  of  attempting  to  conceal  the  fact  that 
it  affords  me  considerable  gratification  to  be  able  to  establish 
these  and  other  instances  of  political  foresight  by  documentary 
evidence.  I  have,  as  an  international  agent  by  profession 
for  some  twelve  years,  devoted  my  attention  to  Chinese 
and  Anglo-Chinese  practical  politics  and  to  the  correspond- 
ing theoretical  studies ;  and  it  is  naturaUy  very  gratifying  to 
me  to  find  that  that  special  application  of  my  powers,  for  so 
long  a  period,  has  not  been  fruitless.  But  I  should  be  alto- 
gether inexcusable  if  I  had  no  other  object  than  self-gratu- 
lation  and  glorification  in  occupying  the  time  of  the  reader. 
The  following  is  my  justification  for  so  doing.  The  erroneous 
conclusions  arrived  at  by  intellects  of  the  first  order  has 


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190  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  BEBELLIONS. 

proved  to  me,  that  the  public  in  the  West  has  not  jet  the 
data  necessary  to  the  formation  of  independent  judgments 
on  Chinese  and  (therefore)  Anglo-Chinese  affiurs.  And 
many  men  of  practical  sagacity  at  home  must,  I  think,  have 
felt  the  necessity  of  being  guided  here»  more  than  in  most 
cases,  by  the  weight  of  authority  rather  than  by  the  force 
of  detailed  arguments,  the  value  of  which  they  have  not  the 
means  of  estimating.  Now  the  man  who  distinctly  foretells 
what  things  taill  be,  gives  the  best  evidence  that  he  knows 
what  things  are;  in  other  words :  Prescience  is  the  strongest 
proof  of  true  Science.  The  reader  can  now  perceive  my 
object.  As  an  international  agent  by  profession,  I  cannot 
help  taking  that  interest  in  my  business,  which  is  a  charac- 
teristic of  professional  men  generally.  I  am  influenced  by  a 
strong  desire  to  prevent  our  following  an  unsound  inter- 
national policy  in  China,  and  to  forward  our  national  inte- 
rests by  preserving  right  relations  between  the  British  and 
Chinese  peoples.  And  hence  in  pointing  in  this  volume  to 
instances  of  political  foresight,  I  am  but  the  political  meteor- 
ologist who,  when  anxious  to  gsia  attention  to  his  opinions 
on  the  present  state  of  the  political  atmosphere  and  the 
measures  which  it  demands,  points  to  the  fistct,  that  he  has 
in  former  cases  succeeded  in  foretelling  coming  convulsions 
of  the  political  elements. 


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STATE  OF  SEA-BOAKD  ON  APPROACH  OP  TAB  PINGS.       191 


CHAPTER  XV. 

STATE  OP  THE  SEA-BOARD  POPULATIONS  AT  THE  MOUTH 
OF  THE  GREAT  RIVER,  ON  THE  APPROACH  OP  THE  TAE 
PINGS, 

I  HAVE,  in  tLe  last  chapter,  shown  that  I  had  perceived  the 
approach  of  djnastic  civil  war  in  China,  four  years  before 
it  broke  out ;  and  that  about  a  year  before  it  did  actually 
break  out  as  such,  I  had  marked  the  positive  precursory 
movements  in  the  provinces  to  the  south  of  the  often-named 
great  watershed.  Neither  I,  however,  nor  any  other  foreigner 
— ^missionaries  as  little  as  laymen — could  have  anticipated,  or 
did  anticipate,  that  it  would  be  a  body  of  Chinese  Christians 
who  would  first  raise  the  standard  of  a  dangerous  rebellion, 
and  fight  as  well  for  the  propagation  of  their  faith  as  for  the 
expulsion  of  the  Manchoos.  But  what  none  could  have 
inferred,  one  missionary  learnt  from  direct  positive  intelli- 
gence. In  April,  1852,  Hung  jin,  a  relative  of  Hung  sew 
tseuen,  fled  from  the  search  of  the  mandarins  to  our  British 
colony  of  Hong  Kong;  was  there  introduced  to  Mr.  Hamberg; 
and  gave  him  some  papers  respecting  Hung  sew  tseuen,  and 
the  origin  of  the  rebellion  in  Kwang  se,  which  two  years 
later  formed  the  basis  of  Mr.  Hamberg's  little  book.  These 
papers  Mr.  Hamberg  showed  in  October,  1852,  to  Mr. 
Boberts,  who  sent  a  sunmiary  of  their  contents  to  a  London 
periodical,  "  The  Chinese  and  General  Missionary  Gleaner," 
which  published  it  in  February,  1853.  It  was  with  Mr. 
Boberts  that  Hung  sew  tseuen  himself  had  studied  for  two 
months  in  the  summer  of  1847,  as  stated  at  page  87 ;  and 


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192  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELU0N8. 

Mr.  Roberts  in  his  summarj  gave  by  way  of  corroboration 
what  he  remembered  of  that  circamstanoe : — 

"  Some  time  in  IMS,  or  the  year  following,  two  Chinese 
gentlemen  came  to  my  house  in  Canton  professing  a  desire 
to  be  taught  the  Christian  religion.  One  of  them  soon 
returned  home,  but  the  other  continued  with  us  two  months 
or  more,  during  which  time  he  studied  the  Scriptures  and 
received  instruction,  and  maintained  a  blameless  deport- 
ment. That  one  seems  to  be  thb  Hung  sew  tseuen,  the 
chief;  and  the  narrator  was,  perhaps,  the  gentleman  who 
came  with  him,  but  soon  returned  home.  When  the  chief 
first  came  to  us  he  presented  a  paper  written  by  himself, 
giving  a  minute  account  of  having  received  the  book  of  which 
his  friend  speaks  in  his  narrative ;  of  his  being  taken  sick, 
during  which  he  professed  to  see  a  vision,  and  gave  the  detiuls 
of  what  he  saw,  which  he  said  confirmed  him  in  the  belief  of 
what  he  read  in  the  book.  And  he  told  some  things  in  the 
account  of  his  vision  which  I  confess  I  was  then  at  a  loss,  and 
still  am,  to  know  whence  he  got  them  without  a  more  exten- 
sive knowledge  of  the  Scriptures.  He  requested  to  be  bap- 
tized, but  left  for  Kwang  se  before  we  were  fully  satisfied  of 
his  fitness ;  but  what  had  become  of  him  I  knew  not  until 
now.  Description  of  the  man : — He  is  a  man  of  ordinary 
appearance,  about  five  feet  four  or  five  inches  high;  well 
built,  round  faced,  regular  featured,  rather  handsome,  about 
middle  age,  and  gentlemanly  in  his  manners." — 77^  Chifiese 
and  General  Missionary  Gleaner.   London,  February,  1853. 

With  the  exception  of  this  passage,  Mr.  Boberts*  summary 
has,  as  an  account  of  Hung  sew  tseuen  and  hb  proceedings, 
been  completely  superseded  by  the  fuller  information  given 
in  Mr.  Hamberg's  book ;  but  its  publication  in  the  above- 
named  number  of  the  '^  Gleaner  "  is  invaluable,  as  proving 
beyond  all  question  that  the  narrative  of  Hung  Jin  was  in  no 
respect  a  fabrication  concocted  by  him  from  reports  of  what  we 
learnt  in  April,  1853,  by  the  visit  of  the  Hermes  to  Nanking. 

In  December,  18^1,  some  months  before  the  above  direct 


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STATE  OP  SEA-BOABD  ON  APPKOACH  OP  TAB  PINGS.     193 

positive  information  respecting  the  origin  and  the  religious 
features  of  the  rebellion  were  communicated  to  Mr.  Hamberg 
at  Hong  Kong,  I  had  left  the  south  of  China  for  Shanghae. 

Before  doing  so^  I  had  been  in  the  habit  of  sending 
in  to  Her  Majesty's  Plenipotentiary  monthly  reports  of  the 
military  progress  of  the  rebellion  in  Kwang  se«  This  work 
I  however  gave  up  on  removing  to  Shanghae,  at  the  mouth  of 
the  Great  River,  where  it  was  no  longer  my  province  to  keep 
watch  over  the  political  movement  in  Southern  China.  But 
when  the  rebels  crossed,  in  June,  1852,  the  southern  watershed 
into  the  valley  of  the  Great  Biver,  it  again  became  my  duty 
to  note  their  progress,  and  I  accordingly  commence(!t  .my 
periodical  reports.  But  my  knowledge  of  the  Chinese  mind, 
joined  to  the  dejected  admissions  that  Protestant.missionaries 
of  many  years*  standing  occasionally  made  of  the  J^itless- 
ness  of  their  labours,  had  convinced  me  that  Cbp^ianity,  as 
hardened  into  our  sectarian  creeds,  e4>uld  n^t  pos8i1[)ly  find 
converts  among  the  Chinese,  except  here  and  there  perhaps 
an  isolated  individual.  Consequently  when  it  was  once  or 
twice  rumoured  that  the  large  body  of  men  who  were  setting 
Imperial  armies  at  defiance  *^  were  Christians,'*  I  refused  to 
give  the  rumour  credence.  It  did  not  occur  to  me  that  the  Chi- 
nese convert,  through  some  tracts  of  a  Chinese  convert,  might 
either  fail  to  see,  or  (if  he  saw  them)  might  spontaneously 
eliminate  the  dogmas  and  congealed  forms  of  merely  sectarian 
Christianity,  and  then  by  preaching  simply  the  great  religious 
truth  of  a  One  God,  and  the  pure  morality  of  Christ's  Sermon 
on  the  Mount,  obtain  numbers  of  followers  among  people 
disgusted  with  the  idolatry  and  the  immorality  that  they  and 
those  around  them  were  engulfed  in.  As  we  have  seen  above, 
this  was  actually  the  case  with  Hung  sew  tseuen.  The  same 
incredulity  that  I  entertained  characterised  the  foreign  commu- 
nities generally.  Viewing  the  small  success — the  almost 
no-success — of  adult  proselytism,  in  spite  of  the  ten  years* 
efforts  of  the  missionaries  under  their  eyes,  at  and  near  the 
Five  Ports,  they  could  not  credit  the  few  vague  and  confused 

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IH  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

reports  that  did  reach  us  to  the  effect,  that  the  army  of 
rebels  were  Christian  converts.  These  few  reports  appeared 
at  intervals  in  the  columns  of  a  Hong  Kong  journal,  *'  The 
Friend  of  China."  They  were,  as  the  sequel  proved,  sub- 
stantially correct ;  and  to  the  editor  of  that  journal  belongs 
the  credit  of  having  first  obtained  and  promulgated  them. 
But  unfortunately  he  had  at  his  command  no  one  sufficiently 
acquainted  with  the  Chinese  language,  institutions,  &c.  to  be 
able  rightly  to  appreciate,  and  to  put  into  an  authoritative 
shape  the  undoubtedly  valuable  intelligence  he  succeeded  in 
obtaining  through  native  agents.  Hence  the  vagueness  and 
confusion  alluded  to. 

In  stating  the  above  particulars,  my  object  has  been  to  lead 
the  reader  to  understand  and  to  picture  to  himself  the  fact, 
that  until  after  the  rebels  had  taken  Nanking,  the  circum- 
stance of  the  movement  having  been  originated  and  guided 
by  a  sect  of  native  Christians  was  practically  unknown  to  the 
foreigners  at  the  Five  Ports.  We  marked  the  progress  of 
the  rebels  as  exhibited  in  the  admissions  of  the  Peking 
Gazette,  for  more  than  two  years ;  and  we  saw  large  bodies 
of  troops  despatched  to  act  against  them ;  but  of  that  peculiar 
feature  which  has  given  the  movement  its  deepest  interest  for 
the  Occident,  we  remained  ignorant  The  mandarins  told  us 
nothing ;  they  were,  of  course,  only  anxious  to  keep  from  our 
knowledge  what  they  might  naturally  conclude  would  have 
excited  our  sympathies. 

The  Intendant  of  the  Soo  sung  tae  Circuit,  whose  station 
is  Shanghae,  and  who  is  the  Authority  with  whom  the 
Foreign  Consuls  there  deal  in  all  international  affiurs,  was 
at  the  time  when  the  Tae  pings  first  descended  on  Nanking, 
a  native  of  Canton,  named  Woa  He  was  an  example  of 
that  abnormal  class  of  mandarins  whom  the  Imperial 
Government,  constrained  by  financial  difficulties,  had  re- 
cently admitted  in  large  numbers :  he  had  purchased  all  the 
official  steps  up  to  the  Intendancy.  He  had  not  passed  even 
the  lowest  of  the  Public  Service  Examinations ;  had  little  or 


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STATE  OF  SEA-BOARD  OK  APPROACH  OF  TA£  PINGS.     195 

no  acquaintance  with  the  national  political  literature;  and 
could  not  even  speak  intelligiblj  the  mandarin  Chinese,  i.e. 
the  Chinese  as  pronounced  by  the  higher  classes,  and  whidi 
is  in  60  far  equivalent  to  the  English  of  educated  Londoners 
or  the  Parisian  French.  He  had  however  a  special  acquire- 
ment which  put  him  out  of  the  class  of  mere  commission 
buyers:  he  could  speak  the  broken  English  which  I  have 
noticed  at  page  56.  And  having  commenced  life  and  made 
his  money  as  one  of  the  class  of  brokers  there  mentioned,  he 
was  supposed  to  be  specially  fitted  to  deal  with  the  trading 
barbarians.  I  believe  there  is  no  other  mandarin  in  the 
Imperial  service — there  is  certainly  no  other  mandarin  of  the 
rank  of  Inteudant — who  can  converse,  however  imperfectly, 
in  an  Occidental  language. 

Ajb  the  rebels  descended  the  Great  Biver,  this  Intendant, 
Woo,  showed  a  commendable  zeal  in  his  Imperial  Master's 
behalf,  by  fitting  out  at  Shanghae  and  despatching  to  Nanking 
some  score  of  vessels  of  southern  pirate-build  and  rig,  each 
well  armed  with  six  or  eight  foreign  guns,  and  manned  by 
crews  of  his  compatriots,  coastlanders  of  Kwang  tung.  These, 
as  low  sea-going  vessels  with  flush  decks,  were  much  better 
fitted  for  fighting  and  for  manoeuvering  in  the  broad  stream  of 
the  lower  portions  of  the  Great  Biver  than  the  high,  clumsily- 
decked  but  smaller  merchant  craft  which  the  Tae  pings  had 
collected  on  its  upper  affluents  and  were  employing  to  convey 
them  down-stream.  Nevertheless,  the  numbers  of  the  latter 
enabled  them  to  drive  the  Intendant's  Kwang  tung  squadron 
before  them,  when  they  met  some  days'  sail  above  Nanking. 
When  this  intelligence  reached  him,  he  was  at  length  com- 
pelled to  apply  for  the  aid  of  foreigners ;  but  as  he  could  not 
commit  his  Government  to  the  step  of  inviting  the  assistance 
of  a  foreign  State  as  an  ally,  he,  in  the  first  instance,  proposed 
to  Mr.  Consul  Alcock  to  hire  the  vessel  on  the  station, 
H.M.^8  sloop  LUy.  Having  been  informed  that  such  a  pro- 
posal could  not  even  be  communicated  to  her  Commander, 
the  increasing  imminency  of  the  danger  to  Nanking  squeezed 

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196  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

out  of  him  a  formal  despatch  reqaesting  that  her  services 
might  be  lerU  to  him.  Capt.  Sanderson  declined  acceding  to 
the  request.  This  was  a  wise  course  in  a  political  point  of 
view,  though  he  was  careful  to  base  hb  refusal  on  the  purely 
professional  ground  of  the  inadequacy  of  so  small  a  vessel  as  a 
sixteen-gun  brig — a  sailing  vessel — to  operate  with  effect  in 
the  rapid  currents  of  the  Great  River  against  the  hundreds  of 
rebel  craft  which  the  Intendant  spoke  of.  The  Intendant  then 
begged  that  letters  might  be  sent  to  Hong  Kong  for  war 
steamers;  and  in  the  meantime  he,  with  the  mandarins  at 
Ningpo,  succeeded  in  hiring,  and  despatched  up  the  Great 
Biver,  thirteen  Macao  Portuguese  lorchas,  vessels  such  as 
those  fitted  out  by  Intendant  Woo  himself,  but  larger, 
with  more  of  the  foreign  build  in  them,  and  manned  by  Macao 
Portuguese,  to  certain  of  whom  they  belonged.  On  the 
21st  March  Sir  George  Bonham  arrived  at  Shanghae  in  the 
Hermes,  which  was  accompanied  by  the  Salamander,  both 
war  steamers ;  whereon  Intendant  Woo  renewed  his  applica- 
tions for  assistance  by  word  and  by  letter,  and  in  his  own 
name  as  well  as  on  the  part  of  his  superior,  the  Governor  of 
Keang  soo.  While  this  was  going  on  it  began  to  be  rumoured 
that  Nanking  had  fallen ;  and  at  length,  on  the  5th  of  April, 
I  received  a  letter  from  an  agent  that  I  had  despatched  up  the 
country,  not  only  corroborating  the  rumours  as  to  Nanking, 
but  giving  us  the  first  intelligence  of  the  fall  of  Chin  heang; 
from  which  to  Shanghae  there  is  a  direct  water  communica* 
tion  as  well  by  the  Grand  Canal  as  by  the  Great  River — ^by 
the  "  inner  river  "  and  the  "  outer  river."  The  population  of 
the  four  large  intermediate  cities,  as  also  that  of  Shanghae 
now  began  to  fly,  carrying  with  them  such  of  their  household 
effects  as  they  could  remove  at  a  time  when  every  conveyance 
was  taken  up ;  and  the  foreign  residents  began  to  take  steps 
for  enrolling  themselves  into  a  volunteer  corps,  and  for 
throwing  up  field  works,  batteries,  &c.,  around  their 
settlements. 

The  tract  of  country  which  was  the  scene  of  this  panic  and 


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STATE  OP  SEA-BOARD  ON  APPROACH  OF  TAE  PINGS.     197" 

preparation  is  one  of  the  most  remarkable  in  the  world.  From 
Hang  chow  on  the  north  bank  of  the  Tseen  tang^  and  Cha 
poo  on  the  northern  shore  of  its  estuary,  the  Hang  chow  bay, 
northward  to  Hwae  gan  on  the  south  side  of  the  Yellow 
River,  the  whole  country  is  a  vast  alluvial  flat  extending 
along  the  sea  for  some  300  miles,  and  inland  to  the  distance 
of  100  to  120  miles.  Through  the  length  of  this  alluvial 
plain,  but  nearer  its  inland  than  its  seaboard  edge,  runs  the 
Bouthem  portion  of  the  celebrated  Grand  Canal ;  while  it  is 
crossed  at  about  its  middle  by  the  Great  Biver.  It  has  in 
fact  been  formed  in  the  course  of  long  ages  by  the  deposits 
of  the  Great  River— the  third  in  the  world — and  those  of  its 
sister  stream  the  Yellow  River.  The  yellow  waters  of  both 
continue  to  this  day  to  form  a  land  which  is  gradually  banking 
its  way  into  the  sea.  The  large  island  of  Tsung  ming, 
now  a  well  cultivated  and  populous  district,  was  originally 
nothing  but  a  mud  bank ;  and  there  is  not  a  stone  upon  it 
which  has  not  been  carried  thither.  Twelve  years  ago,  there 
was  in  the  Great  River,  off  the  mouth  of  its  Shanghae 
affluent,  a  low  bank  which  the  tides  then  regularly  concealed 
from  the  view  of  the  newly-arrived  foreign  community.  It 
is  now  cultivated,  and  has  houses  on  it,  with  people  con- 
stantly living  in  them.  The  whole  of  this  alluvial  plain, 
which  has  now  the  extent  of  the  kingdom  of  Portugal,  was 
formerly  sea,  sparingly  studded  with  islands,  either  standing 
isolated  like  that  called  Gutzlafi^,  now  at  the  mouth  of  the 
Great  River,  or  in  groups,  like  the  Rugged  Islands  and 
others  further  south.  As  the  land  advanced  eastward,  what 
were  formerly  islands  in  the  sea  became  hills  in  the  plain. 
The  isolated  picturesque  Kwan  shan  which  stands  on  the 
way  from  Shanghae  to  Soo  chow,  within  the  walls  of  the 
district  city  to  which  it  gives  its  name,  was  formerly  a  Gutz- 
laff ;  and  "  the  Hills  "  which  one  can  discern  from  the  British 
church  steeple  at  Shanghae  were  a  group  of  Ruggeds.  But 
these  hills  are  few  and  widely  separated,  the  character  of  the 
whole  tract  indicated  being  essentially  that  of  an  alluvial 


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198  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  BEBELLIONS. 

plain,  which  is  seldom  more  than  two  or  three  yards  above 
Bpring  tides,  and  is  in  many  places  below  them.  Besides 
being  traversed  by  the  Grand  Canal  and  crossed  by  the 
Great  Biver,  this  alluvial  plain  is  intersected  by  a  thick 
network  of  water  communications,  which  can  neither  be 
called  rivers  nor  canals.  They  are  the  channels  which,  as 
the  mud  flats  were  reclaimed  from  the  sea  in  past  ages, 
were  specially  kept  open  to  allow  the  rain  water  that  fell 
farther  inland  a  free  passage  outward,  as  also  for  the  purposes 
of  irrigation  and  easy  water  communication.  As  they 
approach  the  sea  the  rapid  tidal  currents  impart  to  them  the 
appearance  of  rivers,  while  farther  inland  their  sluggish  flow 
and  artificially  maintained  banks  give  them  the  look  of  canals. 
The  alluvial  plain  is  bounded,  as  said,  by  the  Yellow  Biver 
on  the  north  and  Hang  chow  bay  on  the  south ;  but  it  belongs 
essentially  to  the  Great  Biver,  with  which  the  system  of 
water  communication  just  described  is  directly  and  freely 
connected  at  many  points.  The  Yellow  Biver,  which  lies 
higher  and  hence  causes  devastating  inundations  when  it 
bursts  its  banks,  is  separated  from  this  water  system  by  dams 
and  sluices;  while,  at  its  southern  extremity.  Hang  chow 
bay  is  separated  from  it  by  a  bank  that  runs  from  the  city  of 
Hang  chow  down  past  Cha  poo  to  the  mouth  of  the  Great 
Biver.  The  rain  which  falls  at  Cha  poo  does  not  run  into 
the  Bay  at  hand,  but  flows  by  a  navigable  canal-river^  est-y  / 
-ward,  past  Shanghae,  into  the  estuary  of  the  Great  Biver. 
The  reader  will  now  understand  that  a  boat  may  start  from 
Shanghae  and  visit  the  whole  of  this  alluvial  plain,  in  size 
equal  to  Portugal,  crossing  and  recrossing  the  Grand  Canal 
from<feast  to  west,  land  the  Great  Biver  fron/north  to  south,  i  V 
each  at  many  different  points,  without  ever  being  impeded' 
by  locks  or  dams,  or  even  without  its  being  absolutely  neces- 
sary that  the  crew  should  land  if  they  have  any  object  in 
keeping  close  to  their  vessel.* 

•  See  Essaj  on  Ciyillzation,  Clukpter  III.i  for  some  further  description  of  the 
alluTial  plain ;  which  in  its  greatest  extent  may  be  said  to  consist  of  the  whole 
proyince  of  Eoang  soo,  with  the  northern  angle  of  Che  keang. 


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STATE  OF  8EA-B0ABD  ON  APPBOAOH  OF  TA£  PINGS.     199 

When  at  Canton^  I  had  an  excursion-boat  in  which  I  used 
to  explore  the  numerous  intersecting  riyer  passages  in  the 
Delta  around  that  city.  Apart  from  the  personal  gratification 
which  it  afforded  me  to  see,  and  know  the  nature  of  the  sur- 
rounding country,  I^  as  already  shewn,  felt  convinced  that 
troublous  times  were  coming,  when  knowledge  of  the  various 
river  branches  would  be  valuable  in  a  public  point  of  view. 
It  so  happened  that  I  left  Canton  before  the  expected 
troubles  reached  the  place.  But  as  soon  as  I  had  established 
myself  at  Shanghae,  I  set  about  the  fitting  up  of  a  boat, 
suitable  for  the  somewhat  different  inland  navigation  there. 
At  Canton  the  hostility  of  the  people  to  foreigners — a  hos- 
tility the  fruit  of  some  two  centuries  of  mutual  under-estima- 
tion,  prejudice  and  rows,  recently  ripened  in  their  minds  by 
a  conviction  that  we  intended  seizing  their  country, — this 
hostility  was  so  great,  that  I  and  my  brother,  who  usually 
accompanied  me,  could  rarely  land  except  (well  armed)  at 
the  foot  of  some  hill,  by  ascending  the  ridge  of  which  we 
attained  our  object  of  seeing  the  country,  while  keepiog  our 
boat  and  the  way  of  retreat  to  it  in  view.  By  this  means  we 
however  did  manage  to  see  in  the  course  of  two  or  three 
years  a  good  deal  of  the  surrounding  country.*    But  the  risk 

*  Only  one  other  foreigner,  Dr.  Ball,  an  American  Medical  Missionary,  saw 
as  much — or  perhaps  more,  ffe  effected  his  object  partly  by  prescribing  for 
diseases,  but  more  by  purely  moral  agencies.  His  "ammunition,"  as  he  called 
it,  consisted  of  tracts  which  many  of  the  rustics  were  curious  to  read  as  exposi- 
tions of  doctrine,  and  which  nearly  all  of  them  were  glad  to  get  for  the  sake  of 
the  comparative  Chinese  and  Foreign  Almanack  of  the  current  year  that  Dr. 
Ball  wisely  appended  to  most.  I  accompanied  him  once  or  twice,  and  he  would 
not  even  permit  me  to  take  even  a  walking-stick — on  the  contrary  I  was  armed 
irith  some  of  his  ammunition.  We  were  usually  mobbed,  and  that  by  stalwart, 
Bon-bumt  rustics  armed  with  agricultural  implements  really  formidable  as 
weapons  of  offence ;  but  they  formed  curious  and  amused  mobs  whose  only 
object  was  to  get  from  us  all  our  "  ammunition."  When  Dr.  Ball  visited  a  new 
locality,  the  following  process  usually  occurred.  So  soon  as  he  was  perceived 
approaching  a  village,  the  inhabitants  would  be  summoned  out  and  would 
approach  him  with  really  hostile  intentions— sometimes  they  actually  began 
pelting  him  with  stones.  He  immediately  discharged  at  the  top  of  his  voice 
the  pacificatory  moralagency  shot  that  he  had  merely  come  to  give  them  good 
books,  and  that  if  they  did  not  want  him  to  enter  their  village  or  walk  in  their 


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200  THE  CHINESE  AND   THEIB  BEBELLIONS. 

was  considerable;  six  of  our  mercantile  countrymen  who 
landed  only  a  few  miles  above  Canton,  without  taking  the 
precautions  we  always  took,  had  their  retreat  cut  off  and 
were  killed;  many  others  have  sustained  grave  injury;  and 
though  we  ourselves  did  avoid  actual  collision,  we  were  more 
than  once  on  the  very  point  of  a  most  unequal  fight ;  so  that 
three  well-paid  crews — fifteen  men — left  me  in  succession 
rather  than  expose  themselves  to  the  constantly  threatening 
danger.  But  at  Shanghae  and  Ningpo,  the  English  have 
only  been  known  for  twelve  years,  and  from  the  first  known 
either  as  irresistible  fighters,  or  as  wealthy  merchants,  whose 
presence  was  giving  a  great  impetus  to  production  and  com- 
merce. There  we  are,  if  not  liked,  at  least  feared;  and 
until  the  disturbances  of  the  last  two  years,  the  assemblage 
of  troops,  &c.,  engendered  a  somewhat  different  spirit  and 
brought  many  bad  characters  to  the  neighbourhood,  foreigners 
could,  unarmed,  make  excursions  in  any  direction  with  the 
most  perfect  safety  so  long  as  they  avoided  very  large  cities, 
and  the  somewhat  independent  fellows  from  the  mountainous 
province  of  Shantung,  who  lead  the  migratory  life  of  navi- 
gating the  Imperial  Grain  Junks  to  and  from  Peking  on  the 
Grand  Canal.     Let  the  reader  add  to  this  safety — which 

fields  lie  would  of  coune  go  back  to  Us  boat  again  and  leaye.  This  mental 
shot  always  told  with  effect  on  the  reasoning  Chinese,  and  silenced  their 
physical  artilleiy  of  stones.  They  saw  a  comprehensible  object  for  his  coming, 
which  was  not  that  of  spying  the  land  in  order  to  seize  it ;  and  his  readiness  to 
yield  to  "min  tsing,  the  feelings  of  the  people,**  operated  on  their  good 
nature.  So  far  as  I  remember  he  told  me  that  the  invariable  result  of  these 
encounters  was  his  being  invited  into  their  viUagea  and  homes.  The  western 
foreigner  who  hears  of  the  Cantonese  murders  and  murderous  assaults —those 
in  the  text  not  less  than  others— committed  not  by  robbers  but  by  the  countiy 
population^  must  bear  in  mind  the  above;  which  is  literal  and  sober  fact  I  hare 
dwelt  much  on  the  turfndent  character  of  the  South  Eastern  Coastlanders. 
But  it  must  be  remembered  that  their  turbulence  is  merely  relative,  as  com- 
pared with  the  extremely  quiet  disposition  of  the  inhabitants  of  central  China. 
While  they  are  undoubtedly  energetic  and  persevering,  they  must  not  for  a 
moment  be  pictured  as  resembling,  in  riotous  disposition,  the  unculUvated 
Irishman.  At  bottom  they  too  possess  the  national  character  of  indisposition 
to  violence  as  a  means  of  dealing  with  other  men.  For  several  reasons  my 
brother  and  I  could  net  adopt  Dr,  Bairs  procedure. 


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STATE  OF  SEA-BOARD  ON  APPROACH  OP  TAE  PINGS.       201 

might  be  called  perfect  when  one  thinks  of  our  highway 
murders  and  robberies — the  presence  of  fine  pheasants  in 
abundance  in  the  cotton-fields,  and  of  wild-fowl  of  many 
varieties  and  in  great  quantity  on  the  waters,  together  with 
the  absence  of  game  and  preserve  laws ;  and  he  will  at  once 
get  view  of  an  important  feature  of  foreign  life  at  Ningpo 
and  Shanghae,  and  at  the  same  time  understand  .why  I  on 
being  stationed  in  that  quarter,  immediately  set  about  the 
fitting  up  of  an  excursion  and  shooting  boat. 

While  there  is  a  certain  generic  resemblance  in  all  the 
boats  that  are  employed  on  the  river  passages  of  the  great 
alluvial  plain,  there  are  numberless  varieties  formed  by 
differences  in  the  deck,  cabins,  masts  and  sails.  When  the 
opium  trade  extended  to  the  north,  the  inland  smugglers 
naturally  selected  the  quickest ;  and  J  as  naturally  followed 
their  example  when  selecting  a  craft  for  an  excursion  boat ; 
the  kind  chosen  being,  the  reader  must  remember,  still  far 
more  largely  used  for  legitimate  than  for  illicit  trafiSc.  With 
a  view  to  quicker  movement  with  an  equal  crew,  I  de- 
termined it  should  be  as  small  as  possible,  provided  that  it 
gave  BufiScient  accommodation  to  myself  and  servants,  with 
my  traps,  dogs,  &c.  A  small  boat  had  the  further  very  im- 
portant recommendation  that  it  could  pass  through  compara- 
tively narrow  and  shallow  river  passages,  and  under  low 
bridges  —  things  which  my  preparatory  questioning  of  old 
shooters  taught  me  had  often  stopped  their  roomier  craft. 
All  boats  throughout  that  extensive  river  system  are  pro- 
pelled, the  large  ones  by  two  or  more  sculls,  the  small  ones 
by  one  scull.  The  sculls  have  very  broad  blades  with  pecu- 
liarly formed  long  handles,  balanced  (by  means  of  a  hole 
about  midway  between  blade  and  grip)  on  a  short,  round- 
headed  iron  bolt.  The  men  work  them  standing,  stepping 
forward  with  a  push  and  throwing  themselves  back  with  a 
pull ;  thus  making  the  blade  perform  wide  sweeps  from  side 
to  side  in  the  water,  like  the  broad  tail  of  an  enormous  fish. 
There  is  a  natural  beauty  in  the  motion,  for,  when  following 


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202  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  REBELLIONS. 

close  after  a  large  boat  in  dear  water^  I  could  sit  for  minutes 
watching  the  sweeps  of  the  scull  blades  as  one  might  watch 
waves  surging  regularly  over  rocks.  The  rate  at  which  one 
such  scuUy  worked  by  two  men  only»  will  propel  a  heavy 
boat  would  surprise  the  home-reader.  One  scull  in  a  boat 
gives  it  a  regular  but  very  strong  oscillatory  motion,  render- 
ing most  kinds  of  occupations  inside  impossible.  Two  sculls 
on  the  other  hand,  one  at  each  quarter  of  the  little  stem 
deck,  neutralise  the  oscillating  tendency  by  mutual  counter- 
action. The  opposite  scullers  keep  time,  step  forward  to- 
gether till  their  heads  nearly  touch,  then  throw  themselves 
back  till  their  bodies  hang  well  over  the  two  sides,  the  boat 
is  sent  forward  with  great  force  and  perfect  steadiness ;  and 
you  inside  the  cabin,  if  at  your  dinner  can  fill  your  glass  to  the 
rim,  or  if  you  have  pen  in  hand  can  look  quietly  at  the  cabin 
roof  for  your  idea,  or  if  in  bed  can  fall  off  to  sleep,  your 
person  being  in  each  case  quite  unshaken,  and  your  mind 
rather  soothed  than  otherwise  by  the  regulated  thudding 
and  stamping  on  the  deck  behind  of  the  scullers'  bare  feet, 
whose  movements  are — to  conclude  this  long  sentence  with 
a  little  poetic  effusion— oft  accompanied  by  the  low  and  wild 
but  simple  chant  of  the  celestial  boatmen  of  the  inner 
waters,  i.e.  by  a  really  not  unmusical  kind  of  song  that 
they  hum  away  at  in  order  to  keep  up  the  steam  for  their 
rather  hard  work.  I  had  six  men,  four  of  whom  sculled 
while  two  rested. 

My  boat,  I  describe  from  memory  and  cannot  therefore 
give  quite  exact  dimensions,  but  the  boating  and  yachting 
reader  will  be  able  to  form  a  tolerably  good  idea  of  her 
appearance  and  accommodations  from  the  foUowing;  in 
which  he  must  however  supply  the  word  abotd  before  all  the 
figures.  She  was  thirty-five  feet  long,  with  a  moveable  deck 
(or  deck  planking)  all  over  at  two  feet  above  the  water-line. 
Where  deepest  she  drew  twelve  or  fifteen  inches.  In  the 
transverse  section  her  bottom  was  flat  elliptical.  She  was 
deepest  and  broadest  at  twelve  feet  from  the  stem,  where  she 


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STATE  OF  SEA-BOABD  ON  APPROACH  OP  TAB  PINGS.     203 

measured  seven  and  a  lialf  feet  across  at  the  level  of  the  deck 
and  six  and  a  half  on  the  bottom.     Eight  feet  further  for- 
ward, the  breadth  was  reduced  to  seven  feet  at  deck  and  six 
feet  at  bottom.     This  broadest  portion  of  eight  feet  of  the 
hold  was  divided  as  a  separate  compartment  from  the  por- 
tions forward  and  aft  by  two  strong  hard  wood,  water-tight 
partitions;   and  had  a  wooden  house  built  over  it     From 
deck  to  the  roof  of  this  house  (which  was,  like  the  boat's  bot- 
tom, flat  elliptical)  the  height  was  four  feet ;  and  here  when 
the  boat  was  in  native  hands  the  crew  or  chance  passengers 
would  sit  or  lie  on  their  bedding,  while  opium  or  other  valu- 
able cargo  was  stowed  away  in  the  water-tight  compartment 
underneath  them.     But  I  immediately  discarded  the  deck 
planking,  put  in  a  flooring  a  few  inches  above  the  bottom,  and 
thus  got  a  cabin  eight  feet  long,  about  six  and  a  half  high,  and 
averaging  six  and  a  quarter  in  breadth.    This,  I  may  tell  the 
untravelled  reader,  is  much  more  than  a  lieutenant  of  a  man- 
of-war  gets  for  himself  and  all  his  outfit  during  his  three 
years'  commission ;  and  is  a  space  which  a  steam-boat  com- 
pany will  mercilessly  compel  three  first  class  passengers  to 
sleep  and  dress  in,  during  a  twelve  days'  voyage  within  the 
tropics.     I  bought  a  boat  nearly  new,  but  still  one  which 
had  been  some  time  engaged  in  the  smuggling  traffic,  which 
was  the  best  guarantee  of  efficiency.     I  had  the  moveable 
panels  of  wood,  reaching  from  the  fore-deck  to  the  roof  of 
the  cabin  and  constituting  its  front  entrance,  entirely  replaced 
by  smalUpaned  glass  sliding  panels,  which  thus  formed  at 
once  a  spacious  window  and  a  nearly  air-tight  door.     This 
very  occidental-looking  window-door  I  could,  as  the  reader 
will  hereafter  learn,  easily  conceal  irom  view  when  I  wished, 
and  as  it  rendered  all  side-windows  unnecessary  I  was  thus 
enabled  to  seclude  the  interior  arrangements  entirely  from 
persons  outside ;  while  I  was  careful  in  refitting  the  boat  to 
conserve  her  external  appearance  of  a  well-found  native  craft. 
This  I  did  for  the  express  purpose  of  travelling  unnoticed 
throughout  the  alluvial  plain  I  have  described.     Were  I  a 


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204  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  KEBELLIONS. 

foot  shorter  in  person  than  I  am,  I  could,  by  hiding  my  deep« 
set  occidental  eyes  under  a  pair  of  the  broad-rimmed  Chinese 
spectacles,  travel  openly  all  over  China  with  small  riek  of 
detection.  But  my  length  of  six  feet  one  inch,  which  is  not 
common  among  ourselves,  approaches  the  gigantic  among  the 
shorter  Chinese  race ;  it  immediately  attracts  general  attention, 
and  then  the  deep-set  eyes,  the  beard  however  closely  shaven, 
and  even  the  short  hair  on  the  hands  and  wrists,  are  all 
marks  that  unfailingly  lead  to  detection.  By  adopting  the 
Chinese  tail  and  dress,  and  using  a  boat  containing  nothing 
foreign  whatever,  not  even  a  penknife,  I  could,  by  shamming 
sick  and  keeping  a  sitting  or  lying  posture  when  the  internal 
Customs'  examination  were  being  made,  travel  through  the 
country  after  the  fashion  of  the  Catholic  priests ;  but  that 
mode  implies  a  considerable  amount  of  privation ;  and  as  the 
Customs'  examinations  are  not  many,  I  hoped  to  be  able  to 
effect  my  purposes  by  fitting  my  boat  up  internally  as  com- 
fortably as  possible  for  an  Englishman,  externally  as  an 
ordinary  Chinese  boat  of  the  same  class. 

The  fore-deck  narrowed  from  its  breadth  of  seven  feet  at 
front  of  the  cabin  to  three  feet  at  the  bows ;  which  were  square 
on  deck,  though  the  hull  underneath  was  rounded.  For  four 
feet  back  from  the  bows  to  the  hole  in  which  the  foremast 
was  stepped  when  used,  there  were  no  bulwarks,  and  thus  a 
space  was  kept  perfectly  free,  from'which  the  anchor  could  be 
thrown,  or  a  man  work  with  a  pole,  when  there  was  a  crowd 
of  boats  or  other  danger  of  collision.  But  immediately  behind 
the  foremast  there  was  a  low  wooden  door  across  the  deck,  from 
whence  ran  on  both  sides  a  two  feet  high  bulwark  back  till  it 
joined  the  cabin.  At  two  places  in  the  length  of  the  fore- 
deck  a  light  wooden  arch  could  be  fitted  together,  spanning 
from  bulwark  to  bulwark,  and  as  the  top  of  the  little  door  in 
front  was  also  arch-shaped,  the  whole  of  the  fore-deck  (with 
the  exception  of  the  little  working  space  at  the  bows)  could 
be  transformed  into  a  house  by  drawing  over  it  some  strong 
double  mats,  each  large  enough  to  reach  over  the  arches  from 


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STATE  OP  SEA-BOARD  ON  APPROACH  OP  TAE-PINGS.        205 

bulwark  to  bulwark.     As  the  first  mat  overlapped  the  roof  of 
the  cabin,  was  itself  overlapped  by  the  second,  &c.,  while  each 
overlapped  the  bulwarks,  and  was  tied  down  to  them ;  a  long 
low  cabin  was  thus  formed,  tolerably  protected  from  the  wind 
and  altogether  impervious  to  the  rain.    These  large  mats  when 
not  thus  employed  were  conveniently  spread  over  the  roof  of 
the  cabin.     The  mainmast  was  stepped  immediately  in  front 
of  the  cabin,  but  when  the  boat  was  not  under  sail  both  it 
and  the  foremast  were  slung  along  the  outside  of  the  boat  a 
little  below  the  level  of  the  deck,  one  on  each  side,  and  both 
projecting  a  foot  or  so  beyond  the  bows.    In  this  position  they 
protected  the  boat  in  a  crush  as  fenders  or  buffers ;  and  also 
served  as  a  road  for  the  boatmen  to  get  from  the  stem  to  the 
fore  deck,  though  the  roof  of  the  cabin  was  the  usual  route. 
Immediately  behind  the  cabin  compartment,   was  another 
smaller  one  of  three  feet,  separated  from  the  stem  deck  by  a 
partition  with  a  sliding  door,  just  as  it  was  itself  separated 
from  the  main  cabin.     The  wooden  roof  extended  over  both. 
On  one  side  of  this  small  cabin  a  compact  cast-iron  boat  cook- 
ing stove  (an  English  thing)  was  placed,  while  the  rest  of  the 
space  was  devoted  to  my  cook.     The  crew  had  their  cooking 
apparatus  under  the  stem  deck  further  aft      The  stem  deck 
which  measured  some  nine  feet  fore  and  aft  with  an  average 
breadth  of  six  feet,  was  protected  from  sun  and  rain  by  a  rec- 
tangular mat  raised  on  wooden  posts  to  the  height  of  about 
seven  feet  above  it,  and  three  feet  higher  than  the  roof  of  the 
cabin,  over  which  the  scullers  could  thus  look  when  propelling 
the  boat  on  her  course.     At  night,  when  at  anchor,  the  sides 
of  this  space  were  completely  enclosed  by  additional  mats ; 
and  there  the  crew  slept — ^the  head  boatman  only  taking  his 
bedding  to  the  front  and  sleeping  under  the  mat-roofed  house, 
which  was  at  night  always  put  up  over  the  fore-deck.     The 
fore  part  of  the  forehold  was  fitted  up  as  a  snug  doghouse, 
while  the  larger  after  portion  was  divided  into  compartments 
for  stowage  of  my  bundle  of  blankets,  changes  of  shooting 
chaussure,  liquors,  my  moveable  table,  &c.  &c.    The  chief 


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206  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

cabin  which,  as  said,  was  eight  feet  long  bj  six  and  a  half 
high  and  six  and  a  quarter  broad,  was  fitted  up  in  exact 
accordance  with  a  minute  plan  of  uiy  own,  bj  which  every 
half  inch  of  space  was  utilized.     The  two  water-tight  bnlk- 
heads,  extending  from  the  boat^s  bottom  to  the  level  of  the 
deck,  I  did  not  alter;  and  as  egress  in  front  was  achieved  by 
stepping  up  over  the  fore  one,  so  the  communication  with  the 
cook's  place  behind  was  maintained  by  a  two  feet  broad  slidiiij^ 
door  fitted  between  the  aft  one  and  the  roof,  through  which 
I  myself  could  manage  to  pass  out,  and  which  was  therefore 
ample  in  size  for  the  smaller  and  more  supple  Chinamen. 
From  front  to  back  of  the  cabin  there  was  down  the  middle 
an  open  passage  of  three  feet  in  breadth.     In  the  fore  part  of 
this  open  space,  a  firm  but  easily  unshipped  table  was  set  up 
at  meal  times,  or  when  I  wished  to  write.     It  was  three  feet 
broad  by  four  in  length,  so  that,  as  club-diners  know,  two 
people  could  dine  at  it  with  perfect  comfort.     Measuring  from 
the  front,  the  first  six  and  a  quarter  feet  of  the  cabin  on  each  side 
of  the  middle  passage,  was  a  well-cushioned  long  seat  that 
at  night  formed  a  sleeping  berth,  one  much  more  convenient 
than  the  passenger  of  a  steamer  usually  gets.     Under  each  of 
these  seats  were  shelves  for  three  gun-cases  besides  a  back 
locker  and  drawers,  which  gave  room  for  an  ample  stock  of 
clothing.     The  next  six  inches  of  the  length  of  the  cabin  was 
devoted  to  two  racks,  one  on  each  side,  and  in  each  of  which 
two  double  barrels  and  a  long  duck  gun  could  stand  ready  for 
instant  use  if  an  alarm  either  of  wild  fowl  or  wild  men  were 
given.     I  may  be  an  inch  or  half-an-inch  out  in  the  above 
dimensions  but  hardly  more,  for,  as  said,  I  myself  planned  all 
the  cabin  arrangements  and  recollect  them  still  very  well. 
Now  if  the  reader  will  calculate,  he  will  see  that  there  still 
remained  fifteen  inches  of  the  length  of  the  boat  (just  where 
she  was  broadest)  on  each  side  of  the  three  feet  middle- 
passage.     These  spaces  were  devoted  to  safe,  sideboard, 
cellar,  &c.  &c.  &c.,  arranged  in  the  best  possible  manner — 
the  heavier  articles  being  at  the  bottom — as  two  dozen  of 


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STATE  OP  SEA-BOARD  ON  APPROACH  OP  TAB  PING8.       207 

wine  and  beer  in  the  lowest  space  on  one  side,  and  the  piles 
of  double-bottomed  hot-water  plates  and  dishes  on  the  other. 
In  the  open  space  between  these  arrangements  my  body  ser- 
vant stood  when  I  was  dining,  separated  only  from  my  chef 
by  the  eliding  door  at  his  back,  with  everything  so  much  at 
hand  that  I  was  in  fact  more  rapidly  served  by  one  man  there 
than  by  two  in  my  house. 

In   the  two   parts  of  this  volume  I  have  touched  on 
no  nnall  variety  of  subjects.    Let  me  here  say  a  word  for 
the  gourmand:  I  never  in  my  life  ate  such  delicious  pan- 
cakes as  I  got  in  that  boat.    Every  man  of  the  commonest 
sense,  and  possessing  that  rudimentary  knowledge  without 
which  he  is  placed  beyond  the  pale  of  humanity  by  ceasing 
to    be    truthfully  definable  as  a  cooking  animal  —  every 
such  man  is  aware  that  scientifically  infused  caloric  is  an 
essential  element  of  a  true  pancake.     Now  my  last  cook,  who 
was  two  years  with  me  but  whose  name  I  never  knew,  and 
my  last  body  servant,  who  was  four  years  with  me  and  who 
was   called  "  Yang  chun^  Eternally  obedient " — these  two 
young  men  seemed  to  take  a  special  pleasure  in  serving  me 
the  pancakes  under  circumstances  so  calorific  that  it  was  as 
much  as  the  skin  of  my  fingers  was  worth  to  touch  the  hot- 
water  plate  on  which  each  thin,  delicious,  smoking — I  had 
almost  said  fizzing — morceau  was  separately  served  up.     And 
as  I  ate,  they  kept  on  preparing  and  serving,  till  I  was  fairly 
<ickiet&d  by  a  repast  of  which  these  pancakes  were  but  one 
solitary  though  most  admirable  trait.    Let  the  sportsman  now 
suppose  me  to  have  had  a  satisfactory  day's  shooting;  let  the 
gourmand  imagine  me  sitting  down  hungry  to  a  dinner  such 
as  that  just  hinted  at,  with  the  boat  anchored  head  to  wind, 
and  the  sliding  doors  just  opened  sufficiently  to  waft  all  odours 
out  aft ;  let  the  philosopher  then  conceive  me,  my  bed  having 
been  arranged,  lying  down  in  it  with  a  pair  of  candles  behind 
my  head,  my  mind  tolerably  satisfied  with  things  in  general, 
and  an  interesting  volume  of  Chinese  or  German  metaphysics 
in  my  hand ;  let  the  darmeur  then  picture  me  sinking  in  due 


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208  THE   CHINESE   AND   THEIR   REBELLIONS. 

time  gently  into  forgetfulness,  roused  but  for  a  moment  by 
the  light  reading  just  mentioned  falling  on  my  nose^  laying 
the  volume  aside,  extinguishing  the  candles,  and  then  settling 
myself  comfortably  in  the  bedding  and  going  off  into  one  of 
those  luscious  sleeps,  the  beginning  of  which  is  like  biting 
slowly  into  a  mellow  peach,  and  which  continue  in  deepest 
unconsciousness  for  eight  hours  of  unbroken  repose ;  let  all 
picture  this  to  themselves,  and  then  all — sportsman  and^otcr- 
mandy  philosopher  and  dormeur — will  give  me  ready  credence 
when  I  say  that  many  of  the  pleasanter  hours  of  my  life  were 
passed  during  my  shooting  excursions  on  the  "  inner  waters" 
of  China. 


To  resume  the  narrative.     When  the  panic  and  the  terror  of 
the  advancing  rebels,  mentioned  at  page  19,  as  having  seized 
the  populations  in  and  around  Shanghae  were  at  their  height, 
I,  on  the  7th  April,  went  into  the  city  to  communicate  to  the 
Intendant  the  decision  of  Sir  G.  Bonham  as  to  the  question 
of  aid.     I  was  received  at  the  gates  of  his  yamun  with  the 
Chinese  salute  of  three  guns,  but  observed  as  my  sedan  was 
carried  through  the  outer  courts,  that  they  had  a  deserted 
look ;   and  that  the  Intendant  himself  while  going  through 
the  customary  civilities  of  reception,  seemed  very  downcast* 
When  we  were  seated,  and  I  had  delivered  my  message,  to 
the  effect  that  the  British  would  defend  their  lives  and  pro- 
perty against  all  attacks,  but  that  no  aid  would  be  given  him 
in  the  defence  of  the  city,  he  looked  to   the  ground  for  a 
while,  shaking  his  head  in  silence;   then  casting  a  glance 
around  the  apartment  said  quietly,  "  My  domestics  are  leav- 
ing me.*'     He  afterwards  asked  me  what  I  thought  he  should 
do.     I  advised  him,  as  a  Kwang  tung  man  who  could  speak 
English  and,  as  he  himself  often  mentioned,  had  begun  life 
as  a  merchant,   to  retire  with  his   family  and  property  to 
Hong  Kong,  where  he  could,  among  his  own  compatriots  and 
English  merchants,  occupy  himself  with  trade.     The  then 
panic  having  passed  over,  he  remained  at  Shanghae ;  and  after 


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STATE  OF  SEA-BOARD  ON  APPROACH  OP  TAE  PINGS.       209 

]*unning  great  risks  and  suffering  many  indignities,  was  ulti- 
mately deprived  of  the  Intendancy  and  is,  if  not  a  pri- 
soner at  Peking,  now  assisting  in  some  subordinate  capacity, 
in  the  operations  against  the  Tae  pings.  Yet  he  did  more  to 
stop  the  advance  of  these  latter  eastward,  than  any  other 
Imperial  mandarin.  About  the  time  I  saw  him  as  above 
stated,  he  was  purchasing  three  or  four  American  and  English 
merchantmen,  which  he  subsequently  despatched  to  Chin 
keang  after  they  had  been  armed,  and  had  been  officered  and 
manned  by  English  and  Americans.  In  the  meantime  the 
Portuguese  lorchas  sent  up  had,  on  the  approach  of  theTae 
pings  to  Chin  keang,  played  the  part  described  as  follows  by 
several  eye-witnesses^ — in  particular  by  three  mandarin  fol- 
lowers who  viewed  the  proceedings  from  the  top  of  the  hill 
that  abuts  on  the  Great  River  on  the  north-east  of  the  city, 
about  midway  between  Golden  and  Silver  Islands: — 

The  firing  commenced  at  early  dawn.  When  the  spectators 
got  up  to  the  top  of  the  hill  mentioned,  they  found  that  the 
Portuguese  lorchas  aided  by  Intendant  Woo's  Kwang  tung 
vessels  were,  with  the  help  of  a  south-east  wind,  repel- 
ling the  Tae  ping  fleet.  It  was  misty  at  this  time.  The  Tae 
ping  fleet  retired  some  three  or  four  miles  above  Golden  Island. 
At  about  10  A.M.  the  wind  changed  to  the  north-east,  and 
the  weather  cleared.  The  Tae  pings  then  hoisted  sail  and  bore 
down  in  full  force  with  a  fair  wind  and  tide.  The  whole  face 
of  the  river  was  covered  with  their  fleet  of  up-country  craft. 
A  large  red  flag  was  hoisted  as  the  signal  to  advance,  and 
when  a  black  flag  was  hoisted  the  firing  began.  Nothing  was 
then  heard  but  the  roar  of  the  guns.  As  the  Tae  pings 
approached  the  Imperialist  vessels,  they  discharged  numbers 
of  rockets  which  set  fire  to  their  sails.  About  this  time  tho 
temples  on  Golden  Island  were  seen  to  be  in  flames;  and 
Intendant  Woo's  Kwang  tung  vessels  fled.  The  Portuguese 
lorchas  also  retired,  but  kept  firing  back  into  the  pursuing 
fleet.     They  thus   all  passed  under  the  hill  on  which  the 

P 


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210  THE  CHINESE   AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

narrators  were  standing.  At  about  12  o'clock  the  Lorchas 
were  as  far  down  as  Silver  Island,  when  they  also  ceased 
firing  and  fled.  The  Tae  pings  did  not  pursue  them,  but 
after  setting  fire  to  the  temples  on  Silver  Island,  returned  to 
Ching  keang  and  prepared  to  land ;  seeing  which,  the  narrators 
made  off  as  hard  as  they  could  in  the  direction  of  Tan  jang. 
They  said  that  the  '^  barbarians  "  in  the  Portuguese  Lorchas 
fought  really  well,  and,  before  their  powder  was  exhausted, 
crippled  and  sank  great  numbers  of  the  Tae  ping  vessels. 
This  was  the  first  intercourse  of  the  new  Chinese  Christians 
with  the  Catholic  Christians  of  the  West. 

The  lorchas  retired  to  a  point  twelve  miles  below  Chin 
keang,  where  they  were  joined  by  the  above-noticed  Occidental 
vessels  bought  by  Intendant  Woo,  and  manned  by  English 
and  Americans.  When  the  Hermes  passed  up  toward  Nanking 
three  weeks  afterwards,  the  whole  squadron  took  the  oppor- 
tunity to  follow  her  to  Chin  keang  and  Kwa  chow,  where 
they  cannonaded  the  Tae  ping  positions,  and  made  prizes  of 
five  or  six  unarmed  junks.  That  was  the  first  intercourse  of 
the  new  Chinese  Christians  with  the  Protestant  Christians  of 
the  West. 

Before  describing  the  Hermes'  visit  to  Nanking,  I  shall  give, 
in  the  ensuing  chapter,  an  account  of  the  circumstances  which 
led  to  it,  particularly  of  an  attempt  made  by  me  to  reach  the 
rebels  by  way  of  the  Grand  Canal,  in  the  course  of  which  I  had 
opportunities  of  observing  the  state  of  the  country  in  the  in- 
terior of  China,  there  where  it  is  thought  likely  to  become 
the  scene  of  war,  and  to  mark  how  the  Imperial  forces  moved 
from  one  position  to  another.  On  the(7th  April,\the  inhabi- 
tants of  Shanghae  were  as  stated  seeking  safety  in^he  country 
from  the  dangers  of  the  expected  attack  on  that  city,  and  even 
the  Intendant's  domestics,  whose  means  of  information  were 
good,  were  deserting  him  from  fear  of  the  advancing  rebels. 
On  the^th,  a  paper  began  to  be  handed  about  purporting  to 
be  a  C9Py  of  a  proclamation  issued  by  Lo  and  Hwang,  two 


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STATE  OP  SEA-BOARD  ON  APPROACH  X)F  TAE  PINGS.       211 

rebel  leaders,  in  which  threats  were  held  out   against  the 
foreigners  at  Shanghae.     I  was  at  the  time  strongly  inclined 
to  believe  this  a  fabrication  of  the  Imperialists  or  others  who 
wished  to  get  up  an  inimical  feeling  between  foreigners  and 
tbe  rebels.     And  after  we  had  ascertained  the  Christianity 
of  the  Tae  pings,  I  had  no  doubt  that,  whether  fabricated  or 
genuine,  it  was  purposely  played  into  our  hands  to  prevent 
friendly  communication  between  us.     Throughout  the  period 
of  his  attempts  to  obtain  our  aid,  Intendant  Woo  gave  not 
the   slightest   hint  of  the  peculiar  religious  feature   of  the 
rebellious  movement,  though  his  own  mind  must  have  been 
full  of  it,  and  though  he  was  well  aware  we  should  consider 
it  a  circumstance  of  much  weight.     We  were  still,  at  the 
period  I  speak  of,  practically  ignorant  of  it.  We  were,  indeed, 
totally  without  reliable  data  to  guide  us  as  to  the  intentions 
of  the  rebels  toward  foreigners.     Hence  we  were  adopting 
measures  to  defend  the  settlement,  so  as  to  be  prepared  for 
every  contingency.     But  the  aspect  of  affairs  being  such,  it 
seemed  to  me  highly  necessary  that  some  direct  communica- 
tion  should  be   opened   with   the   rebel  chiefs.      Without 
suspecting  what  information  it  was  that  the  mandarins  were 
withholding,  I  saw  clearly  that  they  were  under  the  influence 
of  an  unusually  strong  spirit  of  mystification  and  reticence  ; 
and  that  if  the  rebels  were  actually  advancing  on  Shanghae, 
we  ought  to  have  some  speech  with  them  while  there  was  at 
least  a  chance  of  modifying  hostile  prepossessions.     My  offer 
to  go  myself  was  accepted.     My  wish  was  rather  to  have 
proceeded  by  the  Great  River,  which  I  had  formerly  ascended 
on  exploring  excursions — once  for  some  fifty  or  sixty  miles — 
and  on  which  I  knew  I  could,  if  necessary,  constrain  the  boat- 
men to  take  me  right  up  to  the  walls  of  Chin  keang.     On  the 
(jrrand  Canal  I  had  no  power  to  enforce  my  wishes,  inasmuch 
AS  the  boatmen  could  leave  me  at  any  time  they  pleased  by 
wading  or  swimming  to  the  bank ;  and  the  panic  was  so  great 
that  I  had  no  hope  that  money  would  induce  any  of  them  to 
take  me  within  a  day's  journey  of  the  rebels.     But  Sir  G. 

r  2 


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212  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

Bonham  wished  me  to  proceed  by  the  Canal;  and  there 
was  this  to  be  said  in  favour  of  the  latter  route,  that  if 
the  rebels  were  really  advancing  I  could  tcaii  till  they  came 
up  to  me,  though  deserted  by  the  boatmen ;  while  by  the 
Great  River  route  I  should,  if  they  advanced  by  way  of  Soo 
chow,  miss  them  altogether.  ^ 

I  accordingly  started  on  the  evening  of  thQ[9th  April  for 
Soo  chow  and  the  Grand  Canal,  in  my  own  excursion  and 
shooting  boat.     ^  >  ->  w'     '  \     - 


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BXCUK8I0N  ON  THE  GRAND  CANAU  213 


CHAPTER  XVI. 

EXCURSION  ON   THE  GRAND  CANAL  TO  OBTAIN   INFORMATION 
RESPECTING   THE   REBELS. 

The  reader  will  understand  from  what  has  been  said  above 
of  the  internal  navigation,  of  the  boats,  and  of  the  physical 
disability  of  height,  which  rendered  it  nearly  impossible  for 
me  to  pass  myself  as  a  Chinese  in  broad  daylight  on  shore ; 
that  it  was  necessary  for  me  to  have  an  agent  with  me,  of 
somewhat  higher  station  and  greater  information  than  a 
servant,  to  land  and  do  much  for  me  that  I  could  not  do  for 
myself.  The  best  man  I  knew  at  that  period,  I  had  (page  196) 
already  despatched  in  the  direction  of  the  rebels.  But  having 
long  felt  the  practical  value  of  the  Chinese  political  maxim 
that  the  requisite  for  the  efficient  despatch  of  business  is  able 
men,  I  was  careful  to  keep  at  all  times  a  list  of  the  ablest  I 
could  get  knowledge  of,  and  whose  circumstances  were  such 
that  it  would  be  in  my  power  to  command  their  services. 
It  was  in  the  then  position  of  affairs  not  to  be  expected  that 
any  orderly  living  individual  would  be  prepared,  at  short 
notice,  to  start  on  an  expedition  which  combined  several  risks; 
but  I  sent  into  the  city  for  a  fellow — we  will  call  him  Fang — 
who  as  a  native  of  Teen  tsin  spoke  excellent  mandarin,  had 
eonsiderable  literary  ability,  great  experience  of  the  life  of 
Yamuns,  and,  lastly,  that  reckless  indifference  to  possible 
contingencies  which  is  often  seen  in  the  confirmed  opium 
smoker.  As  I  expected,  he  followed  my  messenger  out. 
His  packing  was  easily  done :  he  had  only  to  stand  up  and 
shake    himself — his   worldly  possessions   consisting  of   the 


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214  THE   CHINESE   AND  THEIR   REBELLIONS. 

clothes  on  his  back.  My  body  servant  or  valet,  a  native  of 
Kwang  tung,  agreed  to  go  at  once ;  and  the  cook  also  con- 
sented,  after  some  argument  and  banter  on  my  part.  So  far 
from  commanding  the  services  of  any,  I  was  careful  to 
enumerate  the  various  risks  they  would  incur,  and  then 
overcame  reluctance  by  the  offer  of  rewards.  On  the  present 
occasion  the  cooking  was  a  very  secondary  consideration; 
but  my  cook,  besides  speaking  intelligible  mandarin,  was  as 
a  native  of  Keangsoo  a  master  of  the  local  patois ;  he  might 
therefore  be  useful  as  an  agent^  and  I  could  not  have  too 
many  strings  to  my  bow. 

The  following  incident  illustrates  a  feature  of  Chinese 
character,  and  may  at  the  same  time  teach  Occidentals  by 
what  procedure  they  may  best  get  Chinese  servants  to  run 
risks  in  their  behalf.  A  few  hours  before  starting,  when  in 
the  bustle  of  preparation  in  my  sitting-room,  my  Kwang  tung 
servant  came  in,  evidently  somewhat  bashful  and  at  a  loss 
how  to  express  himself.  At  length  he  managed  to  stammer 
through  a  request  that  I  would  give  him  a  note  to  some  one  of 
my  friends,  begging  that  the  bundle  he  held  under  his  arm 
(and  which  contained  such  valuables  as  he  possessed)  might 
be  forwarded  to  his  father  at  Canton,  in  case  ^^our  affairs 
were  unfortunate,  and  we  did  not  come  back.**  This  is  one 
of  the  circumlocutions  which  the  Chinese,  who  avoid  the  use 
of  such  words  as  '^  death,"  employ  to  express  loss  of  life. 
I  immediately  replied,  "  I  have  no  time  to  write  a  note— you 
see  how  busy  I  am,  and  "  (with  a  wave  of  my  hand  round  a 
room  littered  with  books,  papers,  &c.)  "that  I  am  leaving  all 
my  own  matters  in  their  usual  confusion.  But  look;"'  I 
added,  holding  up  a  sealed  letter,  '^  this  I  leave  with  a  friend 
to  be  sent  to  my  brother  at  Ningpo  in  case,  as  you  call  it, 
'  we  do  not  come  back  again.'  Now  I  have  told  him  in  such 
case  to  take  care  to  have  one  hundred  dollars  paid  over  to 
your  father  in  Canton,  in  consideration  of  your  going  with 
me.  He  will  consequently  get  far  more  than  the  value  of 
your  traps.     Make  the  best  disposition  of  them  you  can 


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EXCURSION  ON  THE  GRAND  CANAL.        215 

yourself."  This  evidence  of  unasked-for  care  on  my  part  to 
relieve  what  I  knew  would  be  the  chief  anxiety  on  his  mind, 
actually  made  him  forget  to  do  what  a  Chinaman  rarely 
neglects :  to  return  thanks.  I  found  out  afterwards  that  all 
my  people— body  servant,  cook  and  my  two  permanent  boat- 
men— had  been  to  the  Ching  hwang  meaou,  or  City  Temple, 
to  offer  sacrifices  for  protection.  I  had  usually  only  two 
boatmen  in  my  employ,  the  Laou  ta  or  Captain  (literally ; 
Old  great).  When  I  started  on  an  excursion  I  hired  four 
others.  On  the  present  occasion,  these  four  extra  men  were 
only  engaged  to  take  me  to  Soo  chow,  to  which  the  way  was 
still  known  to  be  open,  I  knew  it  would  be  in  vain  to  speak 
at  Shanghae  of  going  farther. 

The  quotations  in  what  follows  are  from  a  journal  kept 
in  the  boat;  the  (rectangular)  brackets  inclose  what  I 
now  add. 

"9th  April,  1853.  I  left  the  Consulate  Jetty  at  about 
6  P.M.  and  proceeded  to  the  Hermes^  where  I  borrowed  (and 
gave  an  ofiicial  receipt  for)  two  boat  muskets  with  a  hundred 
rounds  of  ball-cartridge  and  six  pikes,  the  latter  intended 
for  the  use  of  my  Chinese  in  case  they  should  have  the 
courage  to  resist  an  attack  of  robbers.  I  left  the  Hermes  at 
about  6  p.  M.  and  proceeded  with  a  fair  wind  against  the  ebb 
tide  nearly  as  far  as  the  Soo  chow  bridge,  below  which  I 
anchored.  It  was  then  nearly  dark,  and*'  [here  follows  a 
measure,  which  was  intended  to  meet  the  danger  of  being 
waylaid  between  Soo  chow  and  Shanghae  by  emissaries  of  the 
Shanghae  Authorities]  "  I  accordingly  lifted  anchor,  passed 
the  Soo  chow  bridge  barrier,  just  as  it  was  about  to  be  closed^ 
anchored  above  it,  and  dined  while  waiting  for  the  flood,  with 
the  first  of  which  and  a  fair  southerly  wind  I  started  at 
about  9i  p.  m.  I  had  little  or  no  sleep  all  night,  the  swaying 
of  the  boat,  as  the  sail  was  shifted  at  every  turn,  and  the  stir 
on  board  consequent  on  her  grounding  from  time  to  time  " 
[from  the  narrowness  of  the  stream  and  the  darkness]  "  pre- 
vented my  dropping  off  for  more  than  a  few  minutes  at  a  time. 


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216  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

*^  Sunday,  10th  April.  After  breakfast  this  momiiig,  I 
instructed  my  servant  Yung  shun  in  musket-loading,  I  firing 
off  about  a  dozen  of  the  ball-cartridge  as  he  loaded  the  two 
guns."  [We  were  then  still  in  a  part  of  the  country  which 
foreignei-s  visit  openly.]  *'I  then  disposed  the  arms  and 
ammunition  in  the  best  manner  for  instant  use.  Besides  the 
two  ships'  muskets  and  pikes,  I  have  my  double-barrelled 
fowling-piece,  my  pistols  and  cutlass."  [At  about  noon  we 
reached  the  limits  of  foreigners'  excursions  in  that  direction  ; 
when  I  had  the  mat  roofing  arranged  over  the  fore  part  of 
the  boat,  which  completely  concealed  my  cabin  front  window- 
door  from   view,   and   left  us  thoroughly  Chinese  on  the 

outside.] '^  I  anchored  under  the  walls  of  Soochow 

at  about  3  p.  m.     I  immediately  sent  off  my  head-boatman  to 

all  the  places  likely  to  be  visited  by "    [This  was  the 

agent  whom  I  had  despatched  up  the  country  some  six  or 
eight  days  before,  and  whom  I  will  here  call  Chang.  I 
thought  it  probable  that  he  might  be  on  his  way  back  to 
Shanghae  with  more  definite  intelligence  about  the  rebels 
than  had  yet  been  obtained ;  for  which  reason,  as  well  as  on 
account  of  the  general  usefulness  of  the  man,  it  was  expedient 
that  I  should  call  him  in  to  me.  Considering  that  the  city 
under  the  walls  of  which  I  was  then  lying  contained  some 
two  millions  of  inhabitants ;  that  I  had  to  pass  through  three 
other  large  cities  before  reaching  Chin  keang  ;  that  the  man 
had  no  notion  of  my  following  him ;  and  that  circumspection 
was  necessary  in  my  endeavours  to  communicate,  it  might 
seem  a  hopeless  undertaking  to  attempt  to  effect  that  object 
So  futile  did  it  seem  to  my  people,  that  I  was  obliged  to  keep 
hounding  them  on  to  the  work :  which  did  eventually  prove 
successful.]  *^  I  also  sent  off  Fang  to  get  me  some  general 
news  to  be  despatched  to  Shanghae  this  evening.  I  am  now, 
3^  p.  M.,  awaiting  the  return  of  the  latter." 


'*  Fang  returned  at  about  four  o'clock ;  and  a  little  before 
dark  I  asked  the  four  daily-hired  boatmen  for  their  final 


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EXCURSION  ON  THE  GRAND  CANAL.        '217 

answer  to  the  proposal  I  made  them  at  noon  to-day^  to  go 
on  with  me  as  far  at  least  as  Chang  chow ;  and  on  their 
declining  I  gave  them  their  wages  and  told  them  at  once  to 
leave  the  boat.  I  told  all  my  people  that  even  if  all  left  me> 
I  should  not  return^  but  remain  alone.  Fang^  my  body  ser- 
vant and  my  cook,  all  three,  agreed  to  proceed,  as  also  my 
two  permanent  men.''  [I  had  ofiered  the  four  daily-hired 
men  a  present  of  ten  dollars  each,  besides  good  wages ;  but 
the  aspect  of  things  at  Soo  chow  was  by  no  means  reassuring, 
half  of  the  shops  being  shut  up  and  people  still  engaged 
in  moving  to  the  open  country.  The  reader  will  see  from 
the  above  the  advantage  I  had  in  being  in  my  ofwn  boat] 

**  Monday,  11th  April,  1853.  I  went  to  bed  last  night 
very  early  and  had  a  long  and  good  sleep.  Fang  went  ashore 
before  bed-time,  and  did  not  return  till  about  noon  to-day. 
He  told  me  he  had  engaged  four  men,  and  as  my  own  head- 
boatman  had  found  one,  it  was  arranged  that  the  father-in- 
law  of  the  latter"  [my  second  permanent  boatman]  «*  should 
return  to  Shanghae  while  we  proceeded  with  the  new  men. 
The  father-in-law  was  accordingly  despatched  at  about  5  p.m. 

with  my  letter  of  this  date  to  Sir  George  Bouham 

Immediately  after  starting  this  man  I  gave  the  order  to 
move  out  some  distance  from  Soo  chow  to  pass  the  night,  it 
being  too  late  to  get  now  to  the  Seu  sze  kwan  in  order  to 
pass  it,  before  closed  for  the  night.  While  I  write  we  are 
moving  off."  [The  net-work  of  river  passages  converges  into 
(me  cord,  the  Grand  Canal,  a  little  beyond  Soo  chow ;  and, 
like  a  knot  on  this  cord,  stands  the  great  internal  Custom- 
house, the  Seu  sze  kwan.  The  cord  begins  to  run  through 
a  net  again,  some  miles  beyond  the  Custom-house,  but  this 
latter  must  be  passed ;  and  had,  from  the  strictness  of  the 
examinations,  been  an  effectual  bar  to  the  excursions  of 
foreigners  in  that  direction  since  the  peace.] 

**  Tuesday,  12th  April.  We  stopped  last  night  in  a  little 
canal  leading  from  the  Grand  Canal,  in  an  unfrequented  spot 
with  a  grove  on  each  side,  to  one  of  the  trees  in  which  the  boat's 


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218  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

head  was  made  fast.  At  the  distance  of  a  few  hundred  jtada, 
but  on  the  Grand  Canal,  and  out  of  sight,  a  body  of  some  three 
or  four  hundred  soldiers  of  the  command  of  the  Hang  chow 
Hee  [Major- General  of  Hang  chow]  were  encamped.  A  gong 
was  beaten  there  and  some  kind  of  small  arm  discharged  about 
every  half-hour. 

'*  I  here  told  my  people  how  I  wished  them  to  act  ia  case 
an  alarm  of  robbers  was  given.  My  head-boatman,  body 
servant  Yung  shun,  and  the  cook  sleep  under  the  matting  oa 
the  deck  in  front  of  my  main  cabin ;  which  latter  is  occupied 
by  myself  alone,  and  where  are  all  the  arms  except  the  Hermes* 
six  pikes.  In  the  small  after  cabin,  separated  by  the  sliding 
door  from  the  main  one  and  in  like  manner  from  the  after 
deck  by  another  sliding  door,  sleeps  my  clerk  Fang.  At  the 
back^  on  the  after  deck,  sleep  the  five  hired  men.  To  these 
men,  who  profess  great  yalour,  cocking  up  their  thumbs  in 
Chinese  fashion  and  saying  of  the  robbers,  '  Let  them  dare 
to  come!'  I  have  entrusted  five  pikes;  with  orders  either 
to  defend  the  after  deck  or  to  fly  to  the  shore  and  wait  the 
event  there,  as  they  may  please ;  but  on  no  account  to  come 
to  the  front,  as  I  cannot  distinguish  people  at  night,  and,  as 
soon  as  arrangements  are  effected  there,  will  fire  at  every  one 
who  shows  himself.  These  arrangements  in  the  front  are 
that  the  head-boatman,  a  perfect  specimen  of  a  Keang  soo 
coward,  shall  on  the  alarm  being  given  instantly  throw  open 
the  front  door,  and  then  make  for  the  shore  or  the  back 
of  the  boat  as  he  pleases.  Yung  shun  and  the  cook  are  to 
sit  up  but  to  remain  in  their  places  till  I  call  them  by  name ; 
when  they  are  both  to  jump  down  into  my  cabin  and  go  to  the 
back  of  it.  The  cook  is  instantly  to  hold  together  the  two 
parts  of  the  sliding  door  at  the  back  until  he  has  ascertained 
that  Fang  has  closed  the  back  doors  and  is  holding  them,  so 
that  the  back  is  secured.  Fang  is  then  to  remain  in  charge 
of  the  back  entrance,  attending  to  nothing  else,  while  the 
cook  is  to  take  the  sixth  pike,  placed  every  night  on  the  floor 
of  my  cabin,  and  be  ready  to  prevent  any  one  bolting  in  at 


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EXCUKSION  ON  THE  GKAND  CANAL.         219 

the  front  door  while  I  open  to  fire  out  at  it.     Yung  Bhun  is 

to  get  out  the  muskets  for  me  and  be  ready  to  load  them. 

He   18   to   have  one  of  the  bayonets  and  Fang  the  other. 

These  arrangements  made,  I  propose  opening  the  front  door 

and  clearing  the  front  deck  by  firing  out  of  the  cabin,  and 

then  seizing  an  opportunity  to  jump  out  (after  my  shooting 

jacket  Trith  ammunition  in  the  pockets,  and  my  waist  belt 

and  pistols  are  put  on)  to  the  fore  deck.     I  must  load  the 

double  gun  at  night  with  No.  5  cartridges  alone,  both  because 

there  is  more  chance  of  hitting  and  because  the  loading  is 

more  speedy.     When  out  I  can  fire  either  at  the  back,  if  I 

find  my  own  people  are  not  in  possession,  or  at  the  robbers' 

vessel  to  drive  it  off.     I  must  not  discharge  any  of  my  pistols 

unless  forced  at  the  first  rush  to  prevent  entrance  into  my 

cabin^  but  keep  them  to  be  ready  for  any  sudden  rush  at  me 

after  I  sally  out.     The  firing  before  that  must  be  done  with 

the  muskets  and  double  barrel.     When  Yung  shun  comes  in 

he  must  shut  the  door  before  doing  anything  else." 

[I  have  inserted  the  above  at  length  because  it  amuses  even 
myself  now.     It  reads  like  a  bit  of  Bobinson  Crusoe's  artillery 
preparations  in  his  castle  to  keep  off  the  savages.     But  my 
preparations  were  very  serious   and  very  necessary.     The 
paralyzation  of  the  Authorities  had,  I  knew,  given  scope  to 
the  ^^  savages  of  civilization,"  who  abound  in  the  enormous 
cities  of  China  as  in  our  own ;  the  Chinese  regular  military, 
who  were  moving  in  considerable  numbers  on  and  near  the 
Canal,  were  by  no  means  indisposed  to  do  a  little  robbery  at 
night;  and  the  "  Kwang  yung,  Kwang  tung  braves"  or  irre- 
gulars, of  whom  numbers  were  also  on  the  Canal,  were  most 
of  them  South  Eastern  pirates  by  profession.     Lastly  my  five 
new  boatmen,  whom  I  was  only  too  glad  to  find  willing  to  take 
me  on,  were  members  of  the  great  fraternity  of  Imperial  Grain 
junkmen,  of  whom  we  know  from  Imperial  Statistics  that  there 
are  about  one  hundred  and  twenty  thousand  on  the  entire 
length  of  the  Grand  Canal,  and  probably  not  less  than  twenty 
thousand  on  that  very  portion  of  it  which  I  was  about  to 


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220  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

navigate.     Now  these  men,  who  are  either  natiyes  of  Shan 
tung  and  Chih  le  or  members  of  families  originally  from  that 
part  of  China,  but  themselves  natives  of  the  migratory  Grain 
Junks — sons  of  the  Grand  Canal,  one  might  say — ^these  men 
are  of  notorious  turbulence  as  well  as  loose  notions  respecting 
rights  of  property.   It  was  quite  consistent  with  their  habits, 
especially  in  the  then  position  of  affairs,  to  assume  the  posribi- 
lity  of  their  concerting  with  a  dozen  or  two  of  their  comrades 
to  make  a  night  attack  on  me  when  they  saw  that  the  boat, 
with  her  contents,  would  be  no  insignificant  prize  for  them. 
The  best  plan  to  ward  off  this  danger  altogether  was  that 
which  enabled  me  to  meet  the  others,  viz.,  to  let  my  crew 
know  that  I  was  not  only  resolved  but  had  deliberately  pre- 
pared to  make  a  serious  defence,  no  matter  what  they  did. 
I  am  sorry  to  say  I  was  not  a  novice  in  such  matters.     Some 
years  before,  when  returning  to  Canton,  not  from  an  excursion, 
but  from  an  official  visit  to  Whampoo  some  twelve  miles  down 
the  river,  I  was  attacked,  in  a  very  dark  night  about  nine  or 
ten  o'clock  while  asleep  in  my  cabin,  by  a  river  pirate  con- 
taining some  dozen  of  ruffians.     I  shot  one  of  them  and  (as 
appeared  from  the  investigations  of  the  Authorities)  wounded 
another  with  a  brace  of  pistols,  but  then  could  not  get  my 
double  rifle  which  I  had  not  looked  to  for  some  weeks  to  g^ 
off.     In  the  meantime  they  were  firing  their  peculiar  com- 
bustibles into  my  boat,  and  prodding,  by  such  light  as  these 
gave,  at  my  ribs  with  their  long  spears.    The  result  was  that 
I  had  to  follow  the  example  given  by  my  crew  at  the  earliest 
period  of  the  proceedings,  by  throwing  myself  into  the  river 
and  swimming  to  the  shore.      Several  people  having  been 
killed  who  had  been  taken  at  a  disadvantage  in  a  similar  way, 
I  was  fortunate  in  getting  off  with  a  wetting  and  a  slight 
spear  wound  on  one  hand ;  but  the  affair  was  provoking,  to 
say  the  least  of  it,  and  I  solemnly  vowed  that  under  no  cir- 
cumstances whatever — not  even  where  there  was  least  like- 
lihood of  attack — would  I  ever  be  again  unprepared  at  night. 
At  present,  on  the  Grand  Canal,  I  had,  besides  the  particular 


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EXCURSION  ON  THE  GRAND  CANAL,  221 

dangers  of  the  time  and  of  the  country,  considerable  reason 
to  expect  a  visit  from  some  of  my  old  Kwang  tung 
acquaintances.] 

**  At  daylight  this  morning  we  started,  sculling^  and  in 
about  an  hour  and  a  half  reached  the  Seu  sze  Custom-house. 
There  are  here  two  stone  bridges  over  the  Canal  at  the  dis- 
tance of  about  one-third  of  a  mile  apart,  between  which  is  the 
Custom-house.  It  was  arranged  that  the  boatmen  should  make 
a  sudden  push  after  some  other  vessel  as  we  approached,  and 
thus  get  the  boat  in  every  case  to  the  north  side  of  the  floating 
barrier.  If  we  were  hailed  Fang  was  to  go  on  shore  and 
report  us  as  a  travelling  boat  with  no  goods.  If  they  insisted 
on  examining  I  was  to  '*  [here  a  measure,  which  was  not 
employed  as  it  so  happened].  *  * 

'^  .  •  .  .  .  All  this  being  arranged,  and  myself  and 
Yung  shun  crouched  on  the  fore  deck  looking  at  the  place 
through  the  interstices  of  the  matting,  which  I  separated 
a  little  for  the  purpose,  and  Fang  standing  afl  ready  to  go 
ashore  if  necessary;  we  sculled  quietly  toward  the  great 
barrier  hitherto  in  the  way  of  foreigners,  to  say  nothing  of 
foreign  goods,  getting  northward.  As  we  got  near,  I  heard 
Fang  exclaiming: — 'What's  the  meaning  of  this?  Why 
there's  nobody  there!  All!  there's  a  messenger  [chae]  on 
the  wharf.  Eh  I  Eh  I  ^  [the  Chinese  note  to  attract  attention] 
'  May  I  ask  what's  become  of  all  your  gentlemen  ? '  [Yay 
mun,  the  superintending  officers]  '  Have  they  been  frightened 
away  ?  ^  A  short  affirmative  answer  was  given.  *  So  they 
have  all  been  scared  into  bolting,  have  they  ?  She  chay  ma 
cho,  ta  mun  too  hea  paou  leaou  ma?'  rejoined  my  man  in 
the  same  jaunty  tone,  and  in  the  excellent  Peking  mandarin 
he  speaks.  This  cool  remark,  shouted  out  from  the  middle  of 
the  Canal,  at  the  dreaded  barrier  itself,  was  followed  by  a  loud 
burst  of  laughter  from  my  boatmen,  joined  in  by  the  hearers 
on  the  shore.  The  messenger,  thinking  we  belonged  to 
the  troops  of  whom  boatloads  were  then  passing  in  the  same 
direction,  asked.  How  many  there  were  of  us  ?    Fang,  who 


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222  THE   CHINESE   AND   THEIR   REBELLIONS. 

knew  nothing  of  the  matter,  answered  without  an  insiccni^s 
hesitation  '  About  forty  vessels.'  The  tears  streamed  out  of 
mj  Kwang  tung  servant's  eyes  in  his  admiring  laughter  at 
these  doings  of  Fang." 

[Just  before  we  came  within  hail  of  the  Custom-house,  this 
servant  forgot  for  an  instant  the  proper  demeanour  which  the 
''  relation  of  servant  and  master "  requires.  In  a  boat  that 
was  sculling  for  a  time  parallel  to  ours,  he  caught  sight 
of  the  intent  gaze  of  a  soldier  fixed  on  the  interstice  by  which 
I  was  looking  out ;  whereupon  he  seized  me  by  the  body  and 
jerked  me  suddenly  backward,  with  the  exclamation :  **  Keen 
leaou  laou  yay,  He  has  seen  your  Honour.*'  If  any  youth 
who  has  yet  to  make  his  way,  if  not  his  fortune,  in  the  world 
should  read  this,  let  him  now  observe  the  practical  value  of 
improving  his  mind  by  solid  historical  reading.  I  had  seen 
the  soldier  myself  with  his  eyes  fixed  right  in  my  direction, 
but,  remembering,  that  in  the  "  Last  of  the  Mohicans "  the 
red  man  stared  from  the  light  into  the  darkened  cavern  recess 
in  which  his  white  foes  were  sitting  without  seeing  them, 
I,  instead  of  withdrawing  my  head,  began  closely  watching 
the  face  of  my  yellow  foe.  I  presently  saw  that  there  was 
no  discovery  in  it — that  he  was  looking,  but  not  seeing ;  all 
which  "  my  honour  "  explained  to  my  servant  to  his  consider- 
able edification.  The  getting  past  the  barrier  in  the  way 
just  described,  together  with  the  self-possession  and  adroit- 
ness of  Fang,  and  the  unembarrassed,  free  and  easy  bearing 
of  my  five  grain  junkmen,  made  me  now  begin  to  hope, 
what  had  seemed  hopeless  at  Shanghae,  that  I  should  really 
be  able  to  get  to  the  rebels  by  this  route.] 

"  Nothing  worthy  of  notice  occurred  till  we  got  to  Woo 
seih,  where  the  questions  addressed  by  Fang  and  the  boatmen 
to  other  boats  which  we  met  or  passed  at  this  (apparently 
very  busy)  place  became  rather  interesting.  It  here  became 
evident  that  the  rebels "  [of  whom  it  was  rumoured  at  Soo 
chow,  that  they  had  all  returned  to  Nanking]  "  are  considered 
to  be  still  in  possession  of  Chin  keang,  as  people  going  to  Yang 


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EXCURSION   ON  THE  GRAND  CANAL,  223 

chow   said  they  were  going  by  way  of  Keang  yin  district 
city,  or  the  Mung  ho "  [two  passages  by  which  the  Great 
River  can  be  crossed  about  fifty  to  sixty  miles  below  Chin 
keang].   ^*  Fang  landed  at  Woo  seih  and  the  boat  took  me  on 
to  a  place  agreed  upon^  where  he  and  two  of  the  boatmen  who 
landed  with  him  were  to  rejoin  us.  To  my  no  great  pleasure, 
I  found  when  we  threw  our  anchor  on  the  shore  here,  that 
we  were  in  a  row  of  some  two  hundred  small  vessels  occu* 
pied  by  troops  from  Che  keang,  both  Chinese  and  Manchoos, 
some  two  or  three  hundred  of  each  ;  and  *  braves '  or  volun- 
teers from  the  sea-borders  of  Fuh  keen  and  Kwang  tung. 
I  was  obliged  to  leave  the  fore  deck  were  I  was  journal- 
izing and  go  inside."  [With  the  fore  part  of  the  boat  covered 
in,  my  cabin  was  too  much  darkened  to  admit  of  my  writing 
there  without  candles,   which  it  was  not  expedient  to  use 
in  daytime;   but  by  raising  a  portion  of  the  fore  deck  and 
sitting  on  a  camp-stool  in  the  shallow  hold,  I  could  use  the 
unraised  portions  of  the  deck  as  writing-table,  and  get  plenty 
of  light  through  the  interstices  between  the  mats.]     **  The 
Che   keang   troops,   Chinese   and    Manchoos,   are   I   learn 
to  remain  at  that  place.    The  volunteers  are  to  go  on.    Fang 
returned  after  I  had  been  there  about  an  hour  and  a  half; 
during  which,  as  my  body  servant  tells  me,  there  was  a  con- 
stant danger  of  my  being  discovered  owing  to  the  terrified 
whispering  and  hiding  air  of  my  head-boatman.     I  think  of 
sending  him  back  from  Chang  chow  to-morrow,  with  letters, 
to  prevent  his  terrors  betraying  us.'' 

[He  had  sent  away  with  his  father-in-law  from  Soo  chow 
everything  he  had  in  the  boat,  retaining  only  a  suit  of 
clothes  so  patched,  that  they  put  me  in  mind  of  an  old 
English  country-made  quilt.  The  look  of  him  in  this  rig  w^as 
enough  to  excite  suspicion.  Something  about  us  certainly 
did  excite  the  suspicion  of  a  man  in  one  of  the  contiguous 
boats,  whose  after  deck  was  only  a  foot  or  two  distant  firom 
ours,  as  the  boats  lay  parallel.  At  a  time  when  every  one  had 
gone  ashore  but  my  cook,  who  was  deeply  engaged  in  the 


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224  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

preparation  of  some  dish,  I  observed  tliis  individual  putting 
his  head  out  from  behind  a  mat  screen  in  his  own  boat,  and 
then  suddenly  disappearing,  when  it  seemed  that  the  cook  was 
about  to  look  in  his  direction.  After  a  while,  I  would  see 
the  half  of  his  face  and  one  eye  reappear  at  the  edge  of  the 
screen,  then  the  whole  head,  and  at  length,  in  his  eager 
spying,  an  outstretched  neck  also.  I  sat  the  whole  time, 
full-fronting  him  in  the  darkened  cabin,  watching  all  his 
motions ;  and  I  do  not  remember  ever  seeing  a  face  in  which 
the  villany  of  treachery  was  so  strongly  impressed.  There 
was  an  extreme  intensity,  besides  a  trait  of  lurking  triumph 
in  his  look,  like  that  of  a  scoundrel  who  felt  that  he  was  on  the 
point  of  discovering  a  secret  which  he  could  turn  to  great 
profit.  I  should  have  given  much  to  have  been  able  to  take 
his  portrait.  I  forget  now  what  put  an  end  to  his  Jack-in- 
the-box  proceedings — I  think  it  was  the  return  of  some  erf 
the  grain  junkmen ;  who  had  a  swagger  about  them  quite 
enough  to  frighten  him  definitively  behind  his  screen.] 

**  The  report  in  Woo  seih  is  that  the  Acting  Governor- 
General  Yang  is  at  Keang  yin,  where  he  has  stationed  him- 
self under  the  pretence  of  guarding  the  inlet  there  from 
the  Yang  tsze  to  Woo  seih,  and  so  on  to  Soo  chow.  The 
Educational  Examiner  of  the  Province,  whose  permanent 
station  is  Keang  yin,  objected  very  strongly  to  the  Governor- 
General's  coming  there,  saying  that  he  himself— a  high  officer 
— was  quite  enough.  He  is  of  course  naturally  afraid  that 
the  presence  of  the  Governor-General  may  attract  some 
portion  of  the  insurgent  forces  to  the  place;  which  might 
otherwise  long  escape  their  attention.  The  other  news  that 
Fang  got  was  that  the  insurgents  have  left  garrisons,  both  at 

Chin  keang  and  Yang  chow We  left  Woo  seih 

about  6  P.M.  and  a  little  after  dark  I  had  the  bow  of  the  boat 
shoved  into  a  little  creek  in  the  southern  bank;  where  we 
passed  the  night  without  adventure.'' 

'*  Wednesday,  13th  April.  Started  this  morning  at  day- 
light, with  the  mainsail  up  and  a  fair  wind.     I  have  given 


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EXCURSION  ON  THE  GRAND  CANAL.         225 

orders  to  make  no  stay  whatever  at  Chang  chow,  but  to 
make  use  of  this  wind  to  push  on  to  Tan  yang. 

"  Two  o'clock  P.M.  On  coming  near  Chang  chow  the  wind 
died  away^  rendering  it  of  less  importance  to  keep  moving. 
I  therefore  wrote  my  letter  No.  3  to  Sir  George,  which 
has  just  been  despatched  to  the  care  of  Yung  shun*s  friend 
[i.e.  it  was  enclosed  to  a  Chinese,  in  a  Chinese  envelope,  so 
as  to  be  transmissible  by  the  Chinese  posts].  Fang  has  taken 
this  letter  on  shore^  and  is  to  get  intelligence." 


'*  After  Fang  left,  we  had  a  collision  with  a  boat,  coming 
from  the  opposite  direction.  I  heard  a  crash  of  crockery,  and 
we  were  instantly  boarded  in  the  bows  by  an  old  woman, 
who  endeavoured  to  bully  us  out  of  some  ccLsh  as  compen- 
sation. There  was  a  great  row  between  her  and  my  new, 
boatmen  for  some  time ;  but  the  latter  were  not  to  be  beaten.  "^ 
They  kept  sculling  on,  told  her  she  need  not  come  into  our 
boat  *  to  make  her  fortune,'  and  that  they  would  tal^  h^r  to 
Chin  keang,  &c.  &c.     She  at  last  asked  to  be  put  ashore^^' 

[When  two  Chinese  boats  meet  there  is  usually «n  ^xe^ange 
of  the  two  questions :  "  Na  le  keu,  Ne  na  Jte  Keuj^.  Where 
are  you  bound  for  ?  Where  are  you  bound  for  ?"  Tfie  stand- 
ing answer  of  our  boatman  was,  '^  To  Chin  ke^ng,"  which 
invariably  produced  broad  grins  in  the  crew  and  passengers 
of  the  other  boat.  The  idea  of  going  to  the  long-haired 
rebels  was  considered  not  a  bad  joke.  The  joke  for  us  lay 
in  the  fact  that  we  really  did  intend  going  there.  In 
ordinary  times  we  should  not  have  got  rid  of  the  old 
woman  so  easily,  for  the  Canal  passed  there  through  the 
suburbs  of  a  hurge  departmental  city,  and  was  a  crowded 
thoroughfare  ;  and  the  grievance  of  the  screaming  old  female 
would  have  been  taken  up  by  the  public.  As  it  was,  the 
thoroughfare  was  (n^er-crowded,  and  the  concentration  of  an 
army  then  going  on  at  the  place,  together  with  the  continual 
supply  of  fresh  rumours  about  the  ^^  chang  fa  tsih,  the  long- 
haired rebels,'*  left  no  room  for  attention  to  boat  collisions. 

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226  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIE  REBELLIONS. 

NeTertheless  I  was  not  a  little  alarmed  at  the  possible  even- 
tualities of  this  invasion ;  and,  after  creeping  cautiously  for- 
ward and  viewing  the  dreaded  object  squatted  on  the  bows, 
retreated  hastily  to  the  cabin,  and  proposed  to  pay  at  once 
what  was  demanded ;  wiiich,  however,  my  people  decidedly 
objected  to.  I  was,  of  course,  careful  not  to  cool  in  any  way 
the  zeal  or  ardor  of  our  new  people ;  and  after  the  old  woman 
left  us,  was  not  a  little  pleased  with  the  manner  in  which 
they  pushed  through  the  press  of  vessels,  some  of  them  hand- 
some barges  containing  local  civilians,  travelling  to  and  fro 
on  official  duty ;  others  large  travelling  boats  containing  the 
families  and  valuables  of  rich  residents  of  Chang  chow,  some 
going  off  to  the  country  and  others  returning  from  it — an 
opposite  proceeding  that  showed  the  conflict  of  opinion  as  to 
the  state  of  aflairs ;  and,  lastly,  boats  of  every  size  and  de- 
scription— ^most  of  them  pressed — containing  the  troops  and 
the  military  officers  who  were  to  form  the  force  then  con- 
centrating there.  Instead  of  sneaking  humbly  through  all 
this,  my  men  had  the  sense  and  spirit  to  take  the  high  tone. 
They  sculled  hard,  and  bawled  to  every  boat  to  keep  to  one 
side,  without  the  slightest  regard  to  the  mandarin  flags  hang- 
ing to  the  masts  of  many,  or  to  the  followers  of  the  inmates, 
who  were  usually  lounging  on  the  fore  deck.  The  boats  are 
almost  always  navigated  by  their  owners,  and  hence  in  the 
greatest  crowd  and  bustle  collisions  are  rare,  both  parties 
being  anxious  to  avoid  the  consequent  damage,  and  showing 
a  remarkable  adroitness  in  handling  their  respective  craft. 
But  my  boatmen  were  little  restrained  by  such  considerations, 
the  boat  was  not  theirs,  and  they  ran  without  hesitation 
into  everything  that  did  not  choose,  or  was  not  able  to  obey 
the  summons  to  clear  the  way.  Before  we  got  to  the  northern, 
side  of  Chang  chow,  I  was  well  able  to  give  a  graphic  descrip- 
tion of  the  encounters  between  Boman  and  Carthaginian 
fleets.] 

"  After  we  had  taken  up  Fang,  and  started  for  Tan  yang, 
we  had  gone  but  a  short  distance  when  Yung  shun  rushed 


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EXCUBSION   ON   THE  GRAND  CANAL,  227 

into  the  cabin  to  saj  that  ^  a  man  was  being  put  to  death.' 
I  found  that  a  decapitated  body,  with  its  head,  having  long 
hairy  beside  it,  was  lying  on  the  Canal  bank  surrounded  by  a 
number  of  people.  The  blood  was  still  smoking.  In  Chang 
chow  proclamations  were  out,  stating  that  the  Lieutenant- 
General  of  Teen  tsin,  named  Le,  had  been  ordered  by  the 
Imperial  Commissioner,  Heang  yung,  to  take  up  his  quarters 
there,  with  two  thousand  men  from  the  army  at  Nanking. 
Another  was  out  by  the  Prefect,  stating  he  had  received  a 
despatch  from  the  Governor  of  Che  keang,  announcing  the 
approach  of  10,000  troops  from  that  province;  viz.  3,000 
regulars,  1,500  marines,  500  Manchoo  Bannermen,  and  5,000 
volunteers  from  the  departments  of  the  Tseen  tang  valley. 
These  are  the  men  with  whom  we  have  been  travelling  from 
Soo  chow ;  and  we  are  now  meeting  great  numbers  of  the 
others.  Some  say  they  are  coming  from  Tan  yang,  others 
say  from  Nanking.  Most  are  in  boats,  in  bodies  of  eight  or 
ten ;  but  many  are  coming  singly  or  in  pairs,  seldom  three 
together,  along  the  tracking-path.  A  few  horsemen  with 
buttons  [mandarins]  and  their  horses  well  belled  have  also 
come  along.  There  is  nothing  like  an  orderly  progress  in 
this ;  but  still  they  have  not  the  appearance  of  people  flying. 
They  are,  however,  all  moving  away  from  the  insurgents. 
One  man,  who  stated  he  was  from  Nanking,  and  was  asked 
how  matters  stood  there,  answered,  *  Chang  fa  chen  leaou — 
the  long-haired  have  seized  it,'  in  a  way  that  set  us  all 
a  laughing.  From  another  we  learn  that  the  [Imperial] 
Generalissimo,  Heang  yung,  was  on  the  9th  at  Tsun  hwa, 
a  town  situated  about  thirty-five  le  [twelve  miles]  from  Nan- 
king, on  the  south-east,  on  the  direct  road  to  Tan  yang. 

''About  dark  we  entered  a  small  branch  on  the  left  hand, 
with  the  view  of  getting  into  a  quiet  place  to  pass  the 
night.  "We  found,  however,  vessels  coming  out,  the  second 
of  which  had  great  difficulty  in  pushing  past  us.  The  people 
in  it  began  abusing  ours,  who  thought  fit  to  be  very  hasty  on 
the  receipt  of  any  observations.   A  perfect  storm  of  reciprocal 

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228  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

abuse  arose,  to  which  I  was  at  last  obliged  to  put  a  stop 
myself,  by  stepping  out  in  front  and  declaring  to  all  parties 
that  such  a  noise  was  totally  beyond  my  endurance ;  that  the 
boat  was  now  past ;  that  if  the  people  in  it  wished  to  fight, 
they  must  at  once  come  back  and  lay  on ;  but  that  if  the^ 
did  not  want  to  fight,  the  noise  must  cease.  It  was  already 
too  dark  for  the  strangers  and  villagers  who  had  collected  to 
see  that  it  was  a  foreigner  who  was  talking,  but  the  authori- 
tative tone  and,  I  doubt  not,  the  invitation  to  immediate 
blows  had  the  efiect  of  producing  silence.  As  I  learnt  from 
another  boat,  that  passed  soon  afler,  that  this  narrow  branch 
was  a  thoroughfare  to  many  populous  places,  I  saw  that  it 
would  necessarily  be  a  most  unquiet  position  to  be  in.  We 
therefore  moved  out  and  anchored  close  to  the  western  bank 
of  the  Grand  Canal.''  [The  only  portion  of  the  above  alter- 
cation that  imprinted  itself  on  my  memory  waa  a  string  of 
vociferations  delivered  by  the  youngest  of  my  grain  junk- 
men—all of  whom  as  natives  of  Shantung  and  Chih  le  speak 
very  good  mandarin.  In  the  exertions  made  to  give  the 
strangers*  boat  room  to  pass  us,  he  had  jumped  ashore  and 
thrown  his  jacket  on  the  ground.  When  the  villagers  col- 
lected some  one  of  them  must  have  presumed  to  make  some 
remark  about  it,  for  my  attention  was  attracted  by  some- 
thing like  the  following  delivered  in  a  loud  fierce  tone: 
"  What's  the  matter  with  my  jacket?  Can  my  jacket  not 
lie  on  the  bank  of  the  river?  Can't  I  put  off  my  jacket  and 
throw  it  on  the  groimd  ?  Your  jackets  are  all  good  jackets ! 
My  jacket  is  a  bad  jacket !  Your  river  bank  is  fine  ground, 
and  my  jacket  stinks  I  There's  my  jacket  lying.  Who  dares 
to  touch  my  jacket,  &c.  &c.  &c."  During  the  whole  of  this 
time  he  was  stamping  about  at  the  side  of  his  jacket  in  his 
long  tracking  boots,  looking  altogether  more  like  a  wild 
Irishman  than  a  civilized  Chinese.  The  villagers — quiet 
countrymen  not  prepared  to  brawl  on  short  notice — made  at 
first  only  patient  remarks,  but  at  length  a  middle-aged  rustic 
got  heated  by  the  provocation  and  began  to  bawl  at  the 


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EXCURSION  ON  THE  GRAND  CANAL.        229 

top  of  his  voice.  In  the  meantime  the  other  four  boatmen 
were,  aided  by  occasional  ejaculations  from  Fang  and  my  two 
BervantSy  keeping  up  a  fire  of  bawls  with  the  occupants  of  the 
other  boat^  which  had  halted  a  little  beyond  us.  The  reader 
may  judge  what  a  treat  it  was  altogether  on  the  banks  of  the 
Grand  Canal  for  a  solitary  Englishman^  who  wanted  to  go 
quietly  to  bed.] 

"  Thursday  14th  April.     After  a  very  quiet  night  (at  the 
beginning  of  which  I  heard  the  discharge  of  a  gun  at  no 
great  distance  and  the  singing  of  the  bullet  in  the  air)  we 
started  at  daylight  this  morning,  against  a  head  wind  from 
the  north-west.     We  are  tracking,  but  making  very  slow 
progress,  and  will  hardly  reach  Tan  yang  before  dark."    [The 
tracking  is  done  by  stepping  a  long  stout  bamboo  in  the  hole 
for  the  foremast,  attaching  a  long  cord  to  its  top  and  sending 
four  men  ashore,  who  harness  themselves  to  it  by  short  sticks 
across  the  breast  and  so  drag  the  boat  on  her  course,  one  man 
at  a  scull  keeping  her  the  while  off  the  shore.]     *•  Soldiers 
in  boats,  on  horseback  and  on  foot,  are  passing  in  the  same 
way  as  yesterday.    Their  arms  are  chiefly  spears  and  swords, 
single  and  double-handled;  but  they  have  also  got  match- 
locks, gingalls  and  small  canon,  the  latter  carried  each  by 
four  men.     I  see  no  sign  of  defeat  or  flight  in  the  demeanour 
of  the  men  of  this  detachment,  but  its  marching  disorder 
seems  to  extend  over  a  space  of  some  twenty  miles ;  and,  if 
this  is  to  be  taken  as  a  fair  specimen  of  the  usual  mode  of 
progression  of  an  Imperial  army  nearest  the  enemy,  we  may 
easily  understand  how  such  must  be  routed  by  an  unexpected 
movement  taking  them  in  the  flank.    Since  we  left  Soo  chow 
we  have  seen  very  few  vessels  with  goods,  but  a  considerable 
number  moving  private  property  in  different  directions.     I 
now  see  no  vessels  at  all,  except  those  with  the  soldiers  and 
now  and  then  a  small  one  belonging  to  the  country  people. 
Mine  seems  to  be  the  only  one  going  to  Tan  yang. 

''  I  heard  the  boatmen  talking  among  themselves  last 
night  about  our  farther  progress,  and  on  questioning  Fang 


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230  TUE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  REBELLIONS. 

this  momingy  I  find  they  are  coming  the  *  wife  and  family  * 
dodge  (which  is  indeed  more  valid  in  their  mouths  than  in 
those  of  people  that  can  leave  their  families  in  wealth),  and 
that  they  are  now  not  willing  to  go  beyond  Tan  yang.  I 
suspect  they  are  intimidated  by  the  sight  of  all  these  troops 
coming  in  from  Heang  yung's  army,  and  of  the  body  and 
smoking  blood  of  the  long-haired  man  yesterday — all  signs 
of  our  vicinity  to  the  scene  of  action.  I  shall  not  speak  to 
them  myself  till  we  get  to  Tan  yang.^'* 

''  As  we  approached  Tan  yang,  just  as  we  were  abont  to 
pass  a  bridge^  Yung  shun  came  into  the  cabin  to  say  that 
Chang  was  ihere ;  and  I  at  the  same  time  heard  my  cook 
and  head-boatman  shouting  out  his  name.  Immediately 
afterwards  he  entered  the  boat  himself.  The  first  thing  he 
said  was  that  it  would  be  impossible  for  me  to  go  on."  [I 
found  that  even  before  the  rebels  took  Chin  keang^  the 
Canal  between  Tan  yang  and  that  place  had  become  impas- 
sable from  shallowness,  except  for  the  smallest  fishing-boats 
having  only  one  or  two  men  in  them,  and  drawing  but  a  few 
inches  of  water.  Between  Tan  yang  and  Chin  keang  the 
Grand  Canal  becomes  something  like  a  canal^  as  we  represent 
that  sort  of  water  communication  to  ourselves.  It  there  in 
"^ct  enters  at  some  points  on  the  higher  ground  at  the  back 
of  the  alluvial  plain,  and  is  altogether  an  artificially  exca- 
vated channel,  the  periodical  clearing  of  which  forms  a 
standing  item  in  the  account  of  Imperial  disbursements  of 
the  local  authorities ;  who,  however,  disburse  as  much  of  the 
money  as  possible  into  their  own  pockets.  The  certainty  I 
arrived  at  he^  that  the  rebels  would  not  move  on  Soo  chow 
and  Shanghaefor  a  month  to  come;  the  strange  and  impor- 
tant information  I  did  get  respecting  them;  and  which  it 
was  advisable  to  communicate  at  once  to  Sir  George  Bon- 
ham  ;  but,  more  than  all  of  course,  the  shallowness  of  the 
Canal  and  the  impossibility  of  proceeding  by  it  even  if  1 
could  have  procured  other  boatmen  willing  to  take  me  on, 
made  me  resolve  on  returning  to  Shanghae  and  proceeding 


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EXCUKBION  ON  THE  GRAND  CANAL.  231 

from  thence^  as  I  had  originally  proposed^  in  a  sea-going  craft 
by  the  Great  River  right  up  to  Chin  keang. 

^^  I  had  a  long  conversation  with  mj  agent  Chang.     On  his 
reaching  Tan  yang  when  he  first  came  up  the  country,  he 
hired  a  mule  and  rode  first  in  the  direction  of  Chin  keang 
and  afterwards  in  that  of  Nanking,  going  till  within  eight  or 
ten  miles  of  the  former,  and  fifteen  or  twenty  of  the  latter, 
but  what  he  ascertained  from  fugitives  of  the  way  in  which 
the  rebels  were  pressing  men  for  soldiers  deterred  him  from 
going  nearer.     He  had  got  as  far  as  Soo  chow  on  his  way 
back,  rwhen  one  of  the  letters  I  had  left  there  came  to  his 
hands,  showing  him  that  we  had  crossed  each  other.     He 
instantly  turned  again  in  pursuit.     He  got  a  great  fright 
when  he  was  searching  for  me  at  Chang  chow,  and  heard  that 
*  a  long-haired  man  with  deep-set  eyes '  had  been  beheaded, 
and  was  only  then  reassured  when  further  description  did 
not  tally  with  my  appearance.     Being  on  foot  and  without 
baggage,  he  got  to  Tan  yang  before  we  did  with  our  head 
wind  and  tracking ;  and  was  making  a  second  search  at  the 
wharfs  there  for  my  boat  and  people,  when  they,  as  stated, 
descried  him.     His  story  was  a  very  interesting  one;   and 
the  reader  will  not  blame  me,  I  think,  for  quoting  the  follow- 
ing incident  from  his  narrative  of  proceedings,  which  I  note^ 
from  his  mouth  at  the  time.     I  must  first  state  that  this  man 
was  no  opium-smoker  nor  drinker,  but  a  prudent  money- 
saving  fellow,  a  native  of  the  north  of  China,  who,  after  having 
failed  in  business  there,  regarded  a  permanent  connection 
with  me  as  his  best,  if  not  only,  means  of  re-establishment  in 
worldly  afiairs;   and  who  knew  from  experience  that  far 
more  was  to  be  got  out  of  me  by  telling  tn^s,  agreeable 
or  disagreeable,  than  by  any  trickery  or  humbug,  which  was 
sure  to  be  discovered  sooner  or  later.    He  had  knocked  about 
a  great  deal  in  different  provinces  of  China;  and  had,  indeed, 
been  twice  away  in  the  country  for  months  on  my  account, 
entrusted  with  sums  of  money,  for  him  considerable. 
*'  From  Chang  chow  to  Tan  yang  he  travelled  in  a  passage-^ 


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232  THE  CHINESE   AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

boat  in  which  was  a  beggar  and  his  wife,  both  of  whom  Had 
been  in  the  hands  of  the  insurgents  some  three  or  four  days 
at  Chin  keang.  The  man  had  been  employed  tending  tlieir 
horses  ;  and  made  off  after  a  few  days,  leaving  his  wife  and 
two  children.  The  wife  had  come  out  after  him,  and  foand 
him  at  Chang  chow,  and  they  were  then  going  back  to  Chin 
keang.  Chang,  after  various  questions  [his  business  was  to 
get  information],  asked  the  beggar  what  the  insurgents  wanted 
with  his  wife.  Upon  which  all  the  bystanding  passengers 
said  with  deprecating  smiles :  *  What  questions  you  ask !' "  ^ 

[Chang  and  myself  were,  at  that  period,  both  puzzled  by  the 
proceedings , of  this  couple.  How  did  she,  a  small-footed 
woman,  hobble  away  from  a  walled  and  strictly  guarded  city, 
and  why  were  the  two  going  back  to  Chin  keang  ?  What 
we  learned  afterwards  of  Tae  ping  conscription  solved  these 
questions.  The  rebels  had  sent  her  out  to  bring  back  her 
husband,  the  children  being  detained  as  the  string  which  was 
to  pull  both  back.] 

^'  At  about  nightfall  he  reached  Tan  yang.  He  had  been 
accompanied  all  the  way  from  Soo  chow  by  a  man  calling 
himself  Wang,  who  said  he  was  going  toward  Nanking  to 
seek  his  younger  brother,  a  soldier  in  the  Imperial  camp. 
My  agent,  under  his  assumed  name  of  Chang,  described 
himself  as  a  Shantung  clerk  to  a  dealer  in  fruits  and  other 
Shantung  edibles,  who  had  been  at  Shanghae  in  the  way  of 
business ;  was  unable  to  return  by  sea,  as  the  pirates  were 
beating  the  sea  craft  back ;  and  was  now  here  to  ascertain 
the  best  route  for  himself  and  his  master  and  another  clerk 
homewards.  These  two,  Chang  and  Wang,  went  to  the  same 
tea-house  [equivalent  to  our  so-called  coffee-house]  at  Tan 
yang ;  where  they  arranged  with  the  people  for  passing  the 
night,  neither  of  them  being  acquainted  with  any  inn  in  the 
place.  The  doors  had  been  closed  and  the  two  men  were 
sleeping  on  the  tea-tables,  &c.  placed  together,  when  they 
were  roused  by  a  knocking  at  the  door,  which  being  opened 
by  the  tea-house  people,  a  yay  mun  [mandarin's  follower] 


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EXGUB8I0N  ON  THE  QBAND  CANAL.         233 

entered  with  a  posse  of  volunteers,  armed  with  three-pronged 
Hpears,  pikes^  &€. 

Yay  mun  (shouting.)  Hoigh  1  You  two  I    Who  are  you  ? 

Chang.  We  are  travellers. 

Yay  nmn.  Travellers !    Where  are  you  going  to  ? 

Chang.  To  Shantung. 

Yay  mun.  Shantung !  Don't  you  know  the  passage  across 
the  river  is  barred  ? 

Chang  {assuming  the  indifferent  and  careless.)  If  it  is  I  must 
just  see  about  it,  that's  all. 

Yay  mun.  What  is  your  name  ? 

Chang.  Chang  [as  common  as  our  Smith] . 

Yay  mun.  And  yours  ? 

7%^  other  Traveller.  Wang  [as  common  as  our  Brown]. 

Yay  mun.  Oh  I  ah!  Quite  right!  Chang,  Wang,  Le, 
Chaou !  [Equivalent  to  Smithy  Broum,  Jones,  and  Robinson], 

Chang  {sneering  and  indifferent).  Yes !  Chang,  Wang,  Le, 
Chaou.    We're  all  one  family. 

(Here  Chang  heard  one  of  the  posse  saying  to  the  others 
that  the  two  should  be  taken  to  the  Yamun.) 

Chang.  To  the  Yamun !  /  have  no  fear  of  going  to  the 
Yamun. 

[They  then  all  went  off  to  the  Yamun  (District  Magistracy) 
where  they  were  examined  preliminarily  by  the  Mun  shang 
(who  is  the  principal  follower  of  the  Magistrate,  and  next  to 
him  the  most  influential  person  in  the  establishment).  He 
repeated  the  questions  as  to  name  and  business.] 

Chang  {with  an  air  of  perfect  candour y  which  he  sponta- 
neously reproduced  for  my  benefit  in  telling  his  story).  To  be 
frank,  I  am  an  agent  of  the  Shanghae  Intendant,  sent  out 
here  to  collect  news. 

Mun  shang  {who  knew  something  of  the  Intendant  and  his 
establishment).  Where  does  the  Intendant  come  from  ? 

Chang.   From  Kwang  tung. 

Mun  shang.   How  long  have  you  been  with  him  ? 

Chang.   I  came  from  Peking  with  the  former  Intendant, 


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234  THE  CHINESE  ilND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

Lin,    and    was    by  him  recommended   to  the   Intendant, 
Woo. 

Mun  sha$ig.  Are  there  any  other  northern  men  there  ? 

Chang.  Yes.     A  Chih  le  man  named  Woo,  also  recom- 
mended by  the  Intendant,  Lin. 

Munshang.  What  business  have  you  charge  of  at  Shanghae  ? 

Chang.  I  am  in  the  Great  Custom-house  [thai  ai  uMeh 
foreign  duties  are  paid.} 

Mun  shang.   Who  else  is  there  ? 

Chang.  There  is  a  person  named  Lew  who  speaks  the 
barbarian  language. 

Mun  shang.  {Apologetically,  being  now  JuUy  convinced  of 
Mr.  Chang's  veracity,  from  knowing  himself  the  people  named). 
You  must  not  be  angry  with  them  [t?ie  night  watch"] .  You 
know  Chin  keang  is  taken,  and  that  it  is  necessary  to  keep 
strict  watch  over  all  strangers.  You  {addressing  the  passe 
which  was  beginning  to  melt  away)  you  see  you  have  made 
a  mistake.     You  had  better  go. 

[In  consequence  of  Chang's  victory,  the  other  man  was 
merely  asked  a  question  or  two.] 

Mun  shang.  I  am  ashamed  that  you  should  have  been 
troubled.     But  it  was  their  duty  to  bring  you  here. 

Chang.  Our  coming  here  is  of  itself  of  no  great  conse- 
quence. But  now  they've  brought  us  here,  what  are  we  to 
do  for  a  night's  lodging  ? 

{On  this  cool  question  being  put,  the  Mun  shang  told  a 
policeman  to  give  Messrs.  Chang  and  Wang  a  room  in  the 
Magistracy  for  the  night ;  and  after  a  comfortable  sleep  they 
left  unquestioned  in  the  morning). 


The  above  was,  the  reader  will  remember,  narrated  to  me 
at  the  very  city  where  the  arrest  and  release  took  place,  and 
only  a  week  after  the  event.  It  struck  me  as  so  charac- 
teristic an  incident  of  Chinese  life  that,  while  I  merely  made 
an  abstract  of  most  other  parts  of  Chang's  account  of  his 
mission,  I  made  him  re-narrate  the  above  conversation  and 


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EXCUBSION  ON  THE  QKAND  CANAL.         235 

took  it  down  literally.  The  slightest  unusual  noise  on  shore, 

or  bustle  on  board  caused  by  the  other  denizens  of  the  boat 

coining  ofi^  made  him  stop  short  and  listen  breathlessly,  with 

fixed  looks.     I  myself  had  to  guard  against  robbers,  against 

disorderly  soldiers,  and  against  emissaries  whom  it  was  quite 

possible  the  m^darins  might  despatch  to  stop  my  mission 

clandestinely,  it  they  heard  of  it     But  once  fairly  in  open 

contact   with  the  established  authorities,  I  knew  very  well 

how  to  protect  myself,     I  was  indeed  certain  to  be  prevented 

from  proceeding,  but  that  was  the  worst  that  could  then  happen 

to  me ;  as  even  the  newest  and  most  ant i- foreign  mandarin 

from  the  interior  would  hardly  have  dared  to  subject  me  to 

personal  ill-usage.     But  if  Chang  had  been  discovered  in  my 

boat,  it  was  extremely  doubtful  that  even  a  fierce  fight  on 

my  part  and  a  peremptory  use  of  the  British  lion  would  have 

kept   his  head  on  his  shoulders.     He   had   therefore  much 

cause   to  listen  in   alarm   at  unusual  noises.     Suddenly  a 

strange  pattering  noise  on  the  top  of  the  boat  struck  his  ear 

and  transformed  him  again  into  a  listening  statue.     '^  It^s 

only  rain,"  I  explained ;  ^'  it  must  be  raining  heavily  outside, 

and  that  is  the   noise   of  the  drops  on  the  roof."    Chang 

immediately  spread  both  hands  with  a  sort  of  unction  on  my 

table,  and  looking  to  the  roof  with   a  face  expressive  of 

immense  relief  exclaimed,  ''  Haou  ah !    Haou  ah !    Haou  ah ! 

Good!   Good!    Very  good!"    This  meant:  My  countrymen, 

the  police  and  military  will  most  ceilainly  not  come  out  of 

their  quarters  at  night  in  a  heavy  rain  to  search  boats  for 

rebel  agents  or  any  other  persons. 

I  now  quote  from  my  journal  again : — 
"  Friday,  15th  April.  We  passed  the  night  quietly 
enough  in  front  of  the  Official  Post  Establishment.  The 
watchman  belonging  to  it,  believing  the  tale  of  my  people 
that  we  had  come  from  the  Shanghae  Intendant  to  get  intel- 
ligence, look  care  of  us,  advised  us  to  move  up  to  some  other 
boats  for  mutual  protection,  &c.  &c.  We  made  him  a 
present  of  twenty  cash'*  [less  than  a  penny  at  the  ordinary 


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236  THE  CHINESE   AND  THEIR  REBELUONS. 

rate  of  exchange,  but  in  food  value  equivalent  to  tlireepenoe 
or  fourpence  in  England] .  '^  At  daylight  this  morning  we 
started  in  a  heavy  rain,  and  it  has  been  nuning  ever  since  till 
now,  about  3^  p.m.,  when  we  are  entering  Chang  chow. 
Fang  is  here  going  ashore  to  copy  the  proclamatioii  aboat 
the  steamers. 

**  We  left  Chang  chow  at  5J  p.m.,  and  proceeded  with  a 
light,  puffy  but  favorable  breeze. 

^^  Saturday,  16th  April.  Anchored  in  the  Canal  last  night 
about  a  couple  of  hours  after  dark.  Heard  village  guards 
beating  gongs  all  night  and  also  the  firing  at  regular  intervals 
of  guns.  To-day  met  great  numbers  of  boats  conveying 
troops.  We  passed  Woo  seih  at  about  10  a.m.,  and  are 
now  5^  P.M.  near  to  the  Seu  sze  Custom-house,  on  this  [the 
north]  side  of  which  I  propose  remaining  to-night. 

*' Sunday,  17th  April.  Passed  the  night  on  the  northern 
side  of  the  Seu  sze  Custom-house.  At  daybreak  we  started 
again  and  proceeded  as  far  as  the  barrier,  which  was  not  then 
opened.  Fang  went  ashore  to  report,  as  was  intended  when 
we  passed  before.  It  seems  that  orders  were  given  by  the 
Customs'  officers  {now  returned)  to  the  sub-examiners  to  see 
that  there  was  no  cargo,  and  then  to  open  the  barrier  and  let 
us  pass.  I  was  sitting  as  usual  in  the  cabin  when  one  of  the 
fore  deck  mats  was  pulled  back.  I  ordered  it  to  be  replaced. 
The  boatman  then  said  a  man  had  come  to  examine  the  hold. 
I  told  them  to  let  him  in  by  the  little  front  door,  which  they 
did.  He  crept  in,  a  young  mandarin  follower ;  and  one  of  my 
Shantung  boatman  then  opened  the  fore  hold  compartments 
and  showed  him  them,  commencing  with  the  foremost.  The 
foreign  boots  do  not  appear  to  have  attracted  his  attention — 
at  least  he  said  nothing  about  them — the  bottles  of  water 
rfirf."  [I  carried  a  stock  of  filtered  drinking-water  from 
Shanghae,  it  being  difficult  to  procure  wholesome  clean 
water  in  these  alluvial  flats.]  ^'  The  grain  junkman,  in 
answer  to  his  inquiries,  told  him  that  there  was  opium  [the 
traffic  in  which  is  severely  punishable]   inside  of  them;    a 


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EXCURSION  ON  THE  GRAND   CANAL.  237 

piece  of  jocularity  which  the  youthful  examiner  received  in 
dignified  silence.   Chang  had,  on  the  man's  coming  in,  passed 
to  my  front  window-door  and,  while  standing  in  the  inside, 
stuck  his   head  and  body  out,  thereby  preventing  the  ex- 
aminer from  seeing  me ;  but  as  I  was  pretty  sure  he  would 
require  to  see  the  back  part,  I  now,  as  he  approached  the 
door,  pulled  Chang  back,  put  my  head  out  till  it  was  about 
eighteen  inches  from  his  face,  and  said, '  What  do  you  want  ?' '' 
[He  had  never  seen  a  barbarian  before,  had  probably  heard 
nothing  but  terrible  tales  about  them,  while  his  mind  was 
doubtless  filled  with  dread  of  long-haired  people  generally, 
after  the  doings  of  the  strange  long-haired  men  at  Nanking ; 
while,  besides  my  whiskers,  my  face   was  rendered  more 
hairy  than  any  Chinaman's  by  stub  beard  and  moustachios 
of  eight  days'  growth.     A  turnpike-keeper  going  to  a  car- 
riage-window for  his  pence,  and  there  having  a  tiger's  face 
thrust  with  a  fierce  growl  into  his,  may  give  the  reader  some 
notion  of  the  young  man's  state.]     "  He  was  so  startled  by 
the  apparition,  that  he  merely  stared  with  widely-opened 
eyes   and  answered  mechanically,  'To  examine  the  hold.' 
'  Well,'  I  answered,  *  you  have  seen  the  fore  hold,  and  here ' 
(with  a  wave  of  my  hand  inside)  'don't  you  see,  there  are  no 
goods.     What  more  examining  do  you  want  to  do?'     He 
crept  backward  to  the  door  saying,  with  his  eyes  still  fixed 
intently  on  my  face,  *  Well,  I  won't  examine.'    At  the  door 
however  he  began,  but  apparently  quite  mechanically,  to 
speak  of  the  main  object  of  his  visit,  a  present  of  money. 
This  was  to  Fang,  who  was  kneeling  at  the  front.     *  What 
is  that ? '  I  asked,  'don't  you '  (to  the  examiner) ' understand 
that  a  man  of  my  looks  has  not  come  here  without  important 
business  to  do?     Get  out  and  open  the  barriers,  and  don't  be 
troublesome.'     Fang  at  once  fell  into  my  tone.     '  Go,  and 
report  to  your  masters,'  he  said,  '  but  be  quick  and  open  the 
barrier.'    In  a  short  time  the  frightened  man  had  told  all  his 
fellows,  and  a  crowd  of  them  collected  to  see ;  but  all  was 
now  closed.    Three  morning  guns  were  then  fired,  the  bar- 


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238  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELUONS. 

riers  opened  and  we  passed  with,  to  my  disgust,  a  load  got- 
up,  derisive  burst  of  laughter  from  my  boatmen  and  people, 
which  I  checked  immediately."     [Proclamations  were  out  in 
the  country  to  reassure  the  people  by  the  informatioii  that 
among  other  measures  taken  to  stop  the  rebels,  the  bturba- 
rians  were  sending  steamers  to  fight  with  them,  and    the 
Custom-house  officers  might  vary  naturally  suppose  that  I 
had  been  by  the  "  inner  waters  "  to  see  the  Governor-General 
about  that  business.]    **  At  about  noon  we  reached  Soo  chow, 
going  this  time  into  the  city,  and  lying  in  a  canal  not  far 
from  the  principal  yamuns.     Sent  Chang  on  shore  for  ins 
baggage,  which  he  had  left  behind  at  Soo  chow,  and  also  to 
see  if  there  were  any  return  letters  for  me  at  the  Shanghae 
letter-carrier's.     Fang  has  gone  on  shore  for  information."' 


**  Chang  returned  bringing  no  return  letters  for  me ; 
but  the  letter-carrier,  learning  he  was  then  en  route  for 
Shanghae,  and  having  some  previous  acquaintance  with  him, 
thought  it  a  good  opportunity  to  send  on  his  mail,  and  ac- 
cordingly entrusted  him  with  three  packets ;  one  addressed  to 
Yaou,  the  district  magistrate  of  Shanghae,  another  to  some 
private  person  there,  and  a  third  which,  to  Chang's  astonish- 
ment, I  took  possession  of  and  began  to  open.  I  saw  that  it 
was  the  letter,  posted  at  Chang  chow,  containing  my  No.  3 
to  Sir  George  Bonham,  which  had  only  got  as  far  as  Soo 
chow  and  has  now  fallen  into  my  own  hands  again.  Fang 
told  me  that  a  placard  on  yellow  paper  [t.  e.  an  address  to 
the  public  from  some  private  people  few  or  many]  had  been 
posted,  exhorting  the  inhabitants,  instead  of  flying  from  their 
homes,  to  enroll  themselves  as  volunteers  and  keep  the  rebels 
out  of  their  city,  as  the  people  of  Canton  had  kept  the  bar- 
barians out  of  theirs  when  they  insisted  on  entering  some 
time  back."  [The  ultra  Peace  party  in  England  are  not 
aware  that  they  were  the  cause  of  an  address  being  issued 
to  the  two  millions  of  Chinese  at  Soo  chow  in  which  the 
British  were  disparaged  as  people  who  had  been  beaten.     It 


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EXGUB8I0N  ON  THE  QBAND  CANAL.        239 

i^as  the  rampancy  of  their  party  at  home  that  prevented  us 
in  1849  from  supporting  our  treaty  claim  to  enter  the  city  of 
Canton  by  force ;  and  the  Chinese  Govemment  informed  the 
vrhole  nation  that  we  had  been  deterred  by  farce.']     "  He 
also  told  me  that  two  o£Scers  had  left  Soo  chow  the  day 
before  for  Shanghae,  the  one  despatched  by  the  Generalissimo 
Heang  yung,  the  other  by  the  Governor-General  Yung  wan 
ting.     These  have  doubtless  gone  to  see  about  steamers."    [I 
had  myself  to  tell  them  at  Slianghae^  a  few  days  later,  that 
we  could  give  no  aid.]   "  The  yellow  placard  was  torn  down 
by  order  of  the  authorities  lest  the  British  barbarians  should 
hear  of  it  and  be  angry  at  the  allusion  made  to  them.    I 
afterwards  put  on  a  Chinese  dress,  stepped  into  a  small  chair, 
and  went  through  the  greater  portion  of  Soo  chow^  resting 
always  for  some  time  in  front  of  each  of  the  great  Yamuns. 
Fang  accompanied  me  on  foot,  together  with  a  servant  and 
one  of  my  boatmen.    During  one  of  the  stoppages  the  peo- 
ple went  to  get  liquor  at  an  adjoining  spirit-shop,  and  the 
after  bearer  nearly  took  too  much.     At  subsequent  stoppages 
he  bawled  out,  '  Let's  go  and  have  a  glass  (cup),'  and  stag- 
gered a  good  deal  as  he  carried  me.     The  front  bearer  got 
yery  anxious,  hurried  on  our  return  as  much  as  he  could, 
and  was  evidently  much  relieved  when  I  had  stepped  into 
the  boat  again  without  being  detected  as  a  foreigner. 

^'  Monday y  18M  April.  Started  at  daylight.  I  immedi- 
ately began  looking  out,  and  as  soon  as  we  had  passed  out  at 
the  water  gate,  near  the  south-western  angle  of  the  city  wall, 
and  there  entered  the  Grand  Canal,  which  forms  the  moat  of 
the  southern  face  of  the  city,  I  came  out  in  the  front  alto- 
gether, and  had  the  matting  removed  from  the  fore  deck ; " 
^f,^.  again  began  to  travel  openly  as  a  foreigner,]  '^  to  my  no 
little  relief.  Great  numbers  of  the  grain  junks  are  lying 
along  the  sides  of  the  canal  here,  and  also  for  some  distance 
up  the  western  face  of  the  city.  About  half  way  up  the  moat 
of  the  eastern  face  we  turned  off  at  right  angles  into  the 
canal  leading  to  Kwan  shan,  in  which  direction  we  are  now 
progressing  by  tracking,^' 


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240  THE   CHINESE  AND   THEIR   REBELLIONS. 

I  closed  my  journal  with  the  above  entry.  I  was  then  still 
from  forty  to  fifty  miles  from  Shanghae,  but  already  at  a  point 
visited  by  me  in  my  shooting  and  exploring  excursions,  and 
as  free  from  constraint — ^much  freer,  in  fact — than  in  Eng- 
land. Head  winds,  and  the  flood  tides  as  we  approached 
Shanghae,  prevented  my  reaching  that  place  till  the  evening 
of  the  19th.  I  at  once  wrote  out  and  handed  to  H.M-'s 
Plenipotentiary,  a  report  of  the  business  portion  of  my  doings, 
&c.,  and  of  the  intelligence  collected  respecting  the  rebels 
from  various  fugitives  from  Nanking  and  Chin  keang,  u  e. 
from  persons  who  had  seen  what  they  talked  about.  They 
were  most  of  them  illiterate  men,  and  hence  their  account  of 
the  books  of  the  Tae  pings  was  meagre  and  partially  incorrect; 
but  in  all  matters  that  they  could  themselves  judge  of,  their 
information  was  very  accurate,  as  will  be  seen  on  a  comparison 
of  the  following  condensed  extracts  from  my  Grand  Canal 
report,  with  the  notices  of  the  same  subjects  given  in  the 
other  parts  of  this  volume. 

"The  most  diflScult  point  to  fix,  even  approximately,  is 
the  number  of  the  insurgents.  But  it  would  appear  that  of 
trusted  and  voluntary  adherents,  forming  the  nucleus  and 
strength  of  their  force,  there  are  not  less  than  thirty  or  forty 
thousand,  all  of  whom  have  long  hair.  Of  voluntary  ad- 
herents, who  have  been  too  short  a  time  with  them  to  have 
long  hair,  and  of  pressed  men,  there  seems  to  be  some  eighty 
or  one  hundred  thousand  at  least.  About  the  chiefs  there  is 
also  much  uncertainty.  It  appears,  however,  that  one  person 
who  bears  the  title  of  Tae  ping  Prince,  and  is  a  son  or  other 
relative,  of  him  known  as  Teen  tih,*  is  the  acknowledged 

*  During  the  first  two  years  of  the  rebellion  in  Ewang  se,  foreigners,  when 
they  did  get  any  answer  to  the  query  of  what  was  the  title  assumed  by  the  new 
aspirant  to  the  throne,  were  told  that  it  appeared  to  be  Teen  tih.  Hence  we 
got  into  a  habit  of  speaking  of  the  leader  under  that  name.  In  a  Peking 
Imperial  Gazette  of  June,  1852,  it  was  stated  that  Hung  ta  tseuen,  who,  under 
the  title  of  Teen  tih,  had  been  associated  with  Hung  sew  tseuen,  the  8elf-«tyled 
Tae  ping  Prince,  was  taken  as  the  rebels  left  Tung  gan  in  Ewang  se,  and  put 
to  death  at  Peking.  That  a  man  who  had  been  captured  at  Tung  gan  was  so 
executed,  there  can  be  little  doubt ;  and  that  he  had  declared  himself  to  be,  aft 
Teen  tih,  an  associate  of  the  Tae  ping  Prince  is  very  probable ;  for,  death  being 


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EXCURSION  ON  THE  GRAND  CANAL.        241 

head.  Besides  hiin^  there  are  four  others  that  bear  the  title 
of  Prince :  the  Eastern,  Western,  Northern,  and  Southern. 
These  would  seem  to  have  no  direct  military  duties,  but  to 
form  a  State  Council.  The  chief  military  man  is  named 
ITang  sew  tsing.  The  distinguishing  mark  of  a  private  in 
their  army  is  a  red  cap  or  turban,  composed  of  a  single  piece 
of  doth ;  with  squares  of  yellow  cloth  on  breast  and  back, 
with  the  name  of  their  corps  or  division  in  black  characters. 
I  enclose  for  Your  Excellency's  inspection  a  red  head-cloth, 
and  a  back  and  breast-cloth,  which  circumstances  make  me 


in  any  case  ineyitable,  torture  and  the  desire  to  die  as  a  person  of  importance 
would  canse  most  Chinese,  so  situated,  to  make  a  confession  to  that  effect  But 
though  the  name  obtained  currency  in  this  way  throughout  the  country,  and 
has  consequently  appeared  in  all  European  books  on  China  and  the  insurrec- 
tion, that  of  M.  Hue  included  ;  nevertheless,  after  haying  questioned  many  of 
the  Tae  pings  at  Nanking,  inclusive  of  the  Northern  Prince,  and  after  having 
considered  all  that  has  been  written  on  it  by  Europeans,  as  well  as  searched 
the  Tae  ping  books  for  traces  of  its  snppression,  I  am  fully  convinced  that  no 
each  title,  and  consequently  no  person  bearing  such  title,  ever  had  existence 
among  the  Tae  pings  themselves.    The  full  title  adopted  by  them  for  the  new 
State  is  ''Tae  ping  teen  kwoh,  Heavenly  Kingdom  of  Universal  Peace."    But 
while  Tae  ping  (Universal  Peace)  is  an  old  and  greatly  esteemed  Chinese  term 
which  can  well  be  assumed  as  the  title  of  a  Chinese  dynasty ;  the  next  words, 
teen  kwoh,  in  so  far  as  their  position  is  concerned,  read  like  the  title  of  an 
individual  monarch  of  that  dynasty,  just  as  we  read,  in  Chinese  dates,  &c., 
Ta  tsing  taou  kwang,  t.  e.  (the  Emperor)  Taou  kwang  of  the  Ta  tsing  dynasty. 
Now,  as  Mr.  Hambex^g  shows  at  page  87  of  ''  The  Rebel  Chief,"  the  Eih  keas, 
of  whom  the  Society  of  Godworshippers  consisted,  pronounce  Teen  kwoh  as 
Teen  kweh.  Further,  the  title  was  first  formally  adopted  by  them  in  Yung  gan, 
of  their  doings  in  which  city  during  the  seven  months  they  held  it,  their  foes, 
the  blockading  Imperialists,  would  get  only  the  vaguest  information.    Under 
all  these  circumstances,  the  sinologue  will  readily  perceive  how  the  mandarin- 
pronouncing  Imperialist  Officers  would  fall  into  the  error  of  substituting  Teen 
tih  for  Teen  kweh,  and  consider  it  the  title  adopted  by  the  rebel  leader;  also 
how  the  error  would  spread  from  their  camps  to  Canton  and  Hong  Kong. 
Bvery  reader,  sinologue  or  not,  will  perceive  that^  even  if  a  person  bearing 
that  title  did  exist,  he  was  according  to  the  "Imperial  Gazette"  itself,  only  a 
subordinated  associate  of  the  "  Tae  ping  Prince,"  and  was  put  to  death  at  a 
period  when  the  rebellion  was  comparatively  insignificant.   But  I  repeat,  there 
never  was  any  such  person ;  and  readers  who  do  not  wish  to  confuse  their  ideas 
must  think  only. of  Hung  sew  tseuen  and  the  other  individuals  mentioned  in  my 
narrative  as  the  originators  and  sole  chiefii  of  the  rebellion.    Teen  tih  is  not 
even  a  myth :  he  is  a  pure  mistake. 


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242  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  SEBELLIONS. 

believe  genuine^  [they  were  genuine],  "  The  one  yellow  cloth 
bears  the  inscription  *  Holy  Warrior,'  the  other  that  of '  First 
front  corps  of  Tae  ping.'  A  deserter  when  caught  is  carried 
round  the  camp  on  a  hand-barrow,  and  compelled  to  exhort 
all  *  his  brethren '  not  to  follow  his  example.  He  is  then 
decapitated.  There  is  a  regular  plan  of  promotion,  to  which 
military  talents  and  administrative  ability  alone  constitute 
claims ;  but  about  the  higher  leaders  none  of  the  informants 
could  say  much,  except  that  their  relative  rank  is  marked 
chiefly  in  the  cap,  and  that  the  highest  wore  yellow.  There 
is  a  complete  organization,  by  which  every  diflferent  kind  of 
service  is  attended  to  by  special  officiab ;  and  those  at  Chin 
keang  have  their  respective  titles  written  at  the  gates  of  the 
Yamuns,  temples,  and  large  private  houses  which  they  occupy. 
The  strangest,  and  what  will  probably  prove  by  far  the  most 
important  fact  connected  with  them  is,  that  they  have  got  a 
Sacred  Book,  which  the  chiefs  and  the  older  members  of  the 
army  not  only  peruse  and  repeat  diligently  themselves,  but 
earnestly  admonish  all  new  comers  to  learn. 

"  From  high  to  low  they  eat  in  parties  of  eight,  each  party 
having  one  table.  Before  seating  themselves  to  eat  all  kneel, 
and  the  chief  person  at  the  table  devoutly  repeats  a  consider- 
able portion  of  this  book.  All  the  fugitives  from  Nanking, 
Chin  keang,  and  Yang  chow  agreed  as  to  this  circumptance  of 
reverent  recitation  by  the  whoh  army  before  meals.  The  insur- 
gents declare  that  the  book  was  sent  down  from  Heaven. 
The  only  passage  obtained  is,  ^  Tsan  mei  shang  te,'  which, 
in  the  absence  of  context,  I  should  translate,  ^Laud  and 
glorify  God.'  [The  translation  was  correct.]  The  fugitives 
all  say :  *  In  short  they  are  teen  choo  keaou  teih,  followers  of 
the  doctrine  of  the  Lord  of  Heaven.'  This  is  the  appellative 
taken  by  the  Boman  Catholics,  but  in  the  mouths  of  Chinese 
from  the  interior,  who  know  nothing  of  Christian  sectarianism, 
it  means.  Christians.  Nothing  was  heard  of  *  Teen  choo,' 
the  term  by  which  the  Bomanists  render  'God;'  and  the 
circumstance  of  the  Book  being  said  to  be  a  direct  revelation, 


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EXCUB8I0N  ON  THE  QBAND  CANAL,  243 

militates  against  the  supposition  of  the  insurgents  being 
Christians  of  any  sect.  Another  striking  fact,  equally  well 
authenticated  as  that  of  the  recitation  before  meals^  is  that 
rape  and  adultery  in  the  cities  taken  by  storm  are  inexorably 
punished  by  death.  The  different  fugitives  conversed  with, 
though  anything  but  friendly  to  the  insurgents,  when  ques- 
tioned on  this  point  all  scouted,  in  the  way  one  scouts  some 
outrageous  calumny  of  one's  unfriends,  the  idea  of  rape 
being  permitted  by  them.  On  the  contrary,  all  spoke  in 
terms  of  wonder,  if  not  of  respect,  of  their  chastity.  The 
Chinese  women  found  in  Nanking  and  Chin  keang  are  all, 
young  and  old,  shut  up  in  separate  buildings,  and  divided 
into  squads  of  twenty-five,  of  whom  the  senior  is  constituted 
overseer,  and  according  to  which  regular  rations  are  served 
out  to  them.  They  are  employed  in  preparing  ammunition. 
No  male,  not  even  as  father  or  husband,  is  allowed  to  enter 
the  buildings  thus  appropriated.  Whoever  does  so  is  put  to 
death  without  further  question.  But  the  women  were  told 
by  the  leaders  that  their  separation  from  their  husbands  and 
male  relatives  was  only  a  temporary  measure,  and  that  as 
soon  as  affairs  were  settled  all  would  be  re-united.  Great 
care  is  taken  of  all  children  that  come  into  their  possession. 
The  ragged  are  at  once  well  clothed ;  and  the  boys  are  bar- 
racked -^nder  special  officials,  by  whom  they  are  carefully 
instructed  in  the  knowledge  of  the  Sacred  Book  and  in  the 
use  of  arms.  I  have  now  only  to  add  that  all  informants 
declare  opium-smoking  to  be  punished  by  decapitation,  and 
even  tobacco-smoking  by  bambooing;  and  Your  Excellency 
will  perceive  that  there  are  in  the  scanty,  but  tolerably  well 
authenticated  particulars  ascertained,  striking  indications  of 
this  movement  being  puritanic  and  religious,  if  not  fanatical, 
as  well  as  patriotic  and  political.  I  should  expect  to  find  the 
new  faith  a  spiritualized  monotheistic  Confucianism,  i,  e.  the 
hitherto  existing  excellent  system  of  national  ethics  with  the 
addition  of  the  two  things  wanting,  a  God  and  an  immortal 
life;  these  latter  borrowed  in  reality  from  Christian  missionary 

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244  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  BEBELLIONS. 

translations  and  writings,  but  now  taught  from  the  new  Koran 
of  a  Chinese  prophet.  I  may  add  that  all  the  idols  at  Nan- 
king, Chin  keang  and  Yang  chow  have  been  destroyed,  and 
all  priests  killed  who  have  not  made  submission  and  allowed 
the  hair  of  their  heads  to  grow,  Le.  abjured.  But  at  the 
same  time  that  I  see  indications  of  a  strong  reli^ous  feeling 
or  even  of  fanaticism^  a  careful  consideration  of  all  the  various 
acts  attributed  to  the  insurgents  leads  to  the  conclasion  that 
their  laws  and  rules  are  the  work  of  sagacious  and  well-r^u- 
lated  minds ;  such  laws  and  rules  all  tending  to  the  gradual 
but  sure  extension  of  their  numbers  from  a  daily  increasing 
nucleus  of  tried  and  devoted  adherents^  whether  originally 
volunteers  or  pressed  men." 

The  reader  will  remember  that  up  to  the  time  of  this 
excursion,  though  aware  of  the  military  progress  of  the  rebels 
from  Kwang  se  to  Nanking,  we  knew  nothing  of  the  religious 
features  of  the  movement.  It  was  while  collating,  in  my  boat 
on  the  Grand  Canal,  the  scraps  of  intelligence  procured,  that 
I  caught  the  first  glimpses  of  the  fact;  to  which  the  sucoesses 
just  achieved  by  the  rebels  imparted  a  vast  significance.  For 
I  saw,  with  that  mixed  feeling  of  admiration  and  awe  which 
fills  us  as  we  watch  powerful  forces  working  deep  convulsions 
and  grand  transformations  in  animate  or  inanimate  nature, 
that  the  Chinese  people  was  imminently  threatened  with  a 
revolution  far  exceeding  in  profundity  and  gravity  any  change 
it  had  undergone  throughout  its  long  duration  of  four  thousand 
years. 

I  immediately  began  my  preparations  for  proceeding  by  the 
Great  Kiver  to  a  nearer  examination  of  this,  now  more  than 
ever  interesting  movement.  Apart  from  the  deeper  interest 
they  now  excited,  our  original  international  reasons  for  wish- 
ing to  put  ourselves  into  direct  communication  with  the  rebels, 
had  received  additional  force  from  the  following  proclamation, 
a  copy  which  I  had  brought  with  me  from  Chang  chow;  and 
the  falsity  of  which  it  was  necessary  to  explain  to  people 
whose  operations  had  already  produced  grave  effects  on  our 


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EXCURSION  ON  THE  GRAND  CANAL.         245 

trade,  and  who  had  weighty  claims  to  be  regarded  as  an  abiding 
power  in  the  country : 

"  CHANG,  Prefect  of  the  Department  of  Chang  chow,  in 
the  Province  of  Keang  soo,  hereby  notifies  that  he  has  received 
a  note  from  the  Prefect  of  Soo  chow,  stating : — 

**  *  I  have  received  a  despatch  from  the  Intendant  at 
Shanghae  to  the  efiect  that  of  the  ten  and  odd  steamers 
whose  services  his  Excellency  the  Governor  (of  Keang  soo) 
has  borrowed,  the  first  division,  consisting  of  five  vessels, 
having  proceeded  up  the  river  to  the  encounter  of  the  rebels, 
passed  the  port  of  Fuh  shan  on  the  2d  instant;  and  instruct- 
ing me  to  have  it  notified  to  the  inhabitants  along  the  river 
that  there  is  no  cause  to  be  alarmed  at  their  appearance.' 

"  These  instructions  having  reached  me,  I  have  to  issue  a 
proclamation  accordingly, 

"  I  now,  therefore,  issue  this  notification,  for  the  full  infor- 
mation of  the  inhabitants  : — 

"  The  ships  of  the  barbarian  volunteers  (braves)  which  have 
been  engaged*  are  strong,  and  their  guns  efiective,  while  they 
themselves  are  filled  with  a  strong  feeling  of  common  hatred 
to  the  rebels ;  in  their  desire  to  exterminate  whom  they  pro- 
vide themselves  with  necessaries  at  their  own  cost.  Within 
a  definite  period  they  will  reach  the  portion  of  the  river 
beyond  Chin  keang,  when  there  will  be  no  difficulty  in 
sweeping  off  this  detestable  set.  You,  the  people,  have  no 
occasion  for  entertaining  alarm,  doubt,  or  fear.  The  gentry 
and  scholars  are  hereby  authorized  to  point  out  for  prosecu- 
tion all  persons  who  may  invent  false  reports,  tending  to  the 
insecurity  of  regular  occupations,  and  to  whom  no  indulgence 
will  be  shown.     A  special  proclamation.^^  t 

Some  eight  or  ten  months  before  the  rebels    reached 

•  The  term  employed  implies,  usually,  that  a  pecuniary  reward  or  induce- 
ment is  giyen,  generally  what  we  call  a  bounty,  besides  regular  wages."— 
T.  T.  M. 

t  This  proclamation  was  printed  with  the  Parliamentary  Papers  on  the 
Civil  War  in  China,  1863. 


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246  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  REBELLIONS. 

Nanking,  and  when  all  was  yet  quiet  in  the  sea-boaTd  pro- 
vincesy  I  made  an  excursion  to  the  island  and  the  chief  dtj 
of  Tsung  ming,  and  from  thence  about  fifty  miles  up  the 
Great  River  to  a  much-revered  temple  and  pagoda  lying  on 
the  northern  bank.  This  I  did  not  perform  in  my  own  boat, 
which  being  adapted  only  for  the  inner  water  navigation, 
would  have  been  foundered  by  the  waves  of  the  Ghreat 
River  estuary,  even  in  ordinary  weather.  I  took  two  sailing- 
boats  called  Kwan  kwae,  of  which  the  larger  description  are 
sufficiently  sea-worthy  to  serve  as  pilot-boats.  When 
passing  Woosung,  the  place  where  some  six  or  eight  laige 
foreign  opium-ships  lie  in  the  Shanghae  river  just  where  it 
falls  into  the  Great  River,  the  chief  officer  of  one,  Mr.  E.  A. 
Reynolds,  offered  to  accompany  me  on  my  trip.  We  were 
nearly  shipwrecked  by  a  high  wind  driving  us  on  to  a  lee 
shore  in  our  first  attempt  to  enter  at  night  the  creek  which 
forms  the  port  of  the  Tsung  ming  city ;  but  were  fortunate 
enough  to  get  off  and  enter  safely  at  a  second  attempt.  The 
next  morning,  the  weather  being  very  hot,  we  engaged  a 
travelling  wheelbarrow,  a  machine  composed  entirely  of 
wood,  with  one  large  wheel  (cased  in)  in  the  centre,  and  a 
seat  at  each  side.  We  each  took  a  side,  and  with  one  man 
between  the  handles,  and  an  extra  man  pulling  at  a  rope, 
wheeled  off  to  the  district  city,  a  mile  or  two  inland.  No 
foreigners  had  ever  before  visited  it,  unless  some  of  the 
Catholic  missionaries  did  so  150  years  ago.  Even  the  shores 
of  the  island  had,  I  believe,  not  been  trod  on  by  any  foreigners 
since  the  British  War,  when  some  of  our  people  were  killed 
in  a  fight  with  the  islanders.  The  city  is  the  station  of  a 
Chinese  vice-admiral,  or  lieutenant-general  of  marines,  whose 
forces  are  cantoned  there.  We  walked  round  the  ramparts ; 
visited  the  established  lions  of  a  Chinese  city,  viz.  the  Yamuns, 
whose  outer  courts  are  open  to  the  public,  the  Public  Service 
Examination  Hall  and  the  City  Temple ;  and  then  wheeled 
back  to  our  boats.  From  thence  we  sailed  up  the  river  to 
the  nearest  point  to  the  pagoda  above  mentioned,  which  is 


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EXCUBBION  ON  THE  GRAND  CANAL.        247 

called  Ziong  shan.     It  lies  about  five  miles  inland  from  the 
river^    from  which  it  is  however  a  very  conspicuous  object, 
being  erected  on  the  top  of  a  conical  hill,  about  three  or  four 
hundred  feet  high,  such  as  I  have  described  as  rising  at 
intervals  out  of  the  alluvial  plain,  and  being  itself  about  one 
hundred  feet  in  height.  This  place  had  also  never  been  visited 
by  foreigners,  and  we  in  consequence  created  a  great  sensation. 
As  we  wheeled  along  at  an  unusual  pace,  each  on  his  own 
barrow  with  two  men  and  relays,  the  villages  and  hamlets 
emptied  themselves  of  their  inhabitants  of  both  sexes  to  see  us. 
The  hill  on  which  the  pagoda  stands  has  many  picturesque  tem- 
ples on  its  sides,  and,  being  a  great  resort  of  pilgrims,  there  is 
no  lack  of  inns  and  tea-houses  at  its  foot.  After  having  ascended 
the  pagoda  and  enjoyed  the  fine  prospect  from  its  top  gal- 
lery, we  took  some  tea  at  the  bottom  of  the  hill,  with  only 
two  or  three  hundred  people  watching  our  every  motion  (the 
houses  are  open  in  front  in  summer),  and  then  returned  to  our 
boats.  I  got  back  to  Shanghae  after  an  interesting  trip  of  three 
or  four  days ;  during  which  I  had  ample  opportunity  of  seeing 
that  my  shipmate,  Mr.  Reynolds,  was  a  very  good  hand  at 
dealing  vrith  Chinese  sea-going  boats  and  boatmen.    When  I 
therefore,  in  my  Grand  Canal  excursion  found  myself  deserted 
at  Soo  chow  by  my  boatmen,  I  wrote  to  Mr.  Reynolds,  then 
living  at  Shanghae,  to  get  a  good  Kwan  kwae  ready  waiting 
for  me  at  a  specified  place  in  the  river,  and  either  be  ready  to 
accompany  me  himself  to  Chin  keang,  or  get  one  or  two  of  his 
acquaintances,  like  himself  mates  of  opium-ships,  to  volunteer 
for  the  service ;  my  intention  then  being,  if  I  did  not  succeed 
in  getting  boatmen  to  take  me  on  by  the  Canal,  to  return  to 
Shanghae  privately,  transfer  everything  from  my  own  boat 
to  the  Kwan  kwae,  and  start  by  way  of  the  Great  Kiver, 
without  intimation  to  any  one.     When  I  did  eventually 
return,  I  found  a  good  boat  in  readiness  and  my  former 
companion  glad  to  join  in  person  in  an  excursion  that 
promised  no  little  excitement-.     I  was  just  busy  with  the 
final  preparations  when  Sir  Geoi^e  Bonham  resolved  himself 


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248  THE   CHINESE  AND   THEIB  BEBELLIONS. 

to  ascend  the  river  in  the  Hermes  with  my  boat  in  tow.  ^Fhe 
following  were  his  reasons  for  this  resolution,  as  given  to  tlie 
Earl  of  Clarendon,  after  a  statement  of  the  substance  of  the 
information  that  I  had  collected  on  the  Grand  Canal : — 

"  The  above,  xnj  Lord,  embraces  in  a  few  words  the  l>e8t 
and  most  reliable  information  it  has  been  in  my  power   ix^ 
gather  since  my  arrival  here.     But  as  I  am  by  no  me&os 
satisfied  in  regard  to  the  intentions  of  the  insurgents  towards 
foreigners,  and  as  the  former  appear  to  be  a  more  formidable 
body  than  has  hitherto  been  supposed,  I  am  unwilling  to  rest 
until  I  shall  have  obtained  a  declaration  of  those  intentions, 
more  especially  as  I  have  the  best  evidence  that  the  Shanghae 
Intendant  hais  spared  no  pains  in  spreading  false  rumours,  and^ 
in  short,  in  endeavouring,  by  every  means  in  his  power,  to 
induce  the  insurgents  to  believe  that  we  are  to  take  the  part 
of  the  Imperialists  against  them.     He  has,  in  his  official 
despatches  to  other  mandarins,   announced  that  we   were 
arming  and  despatching  steamers  to  assist  the  Emperor's 
troops  at  Nanking  and  Chin  keang.     The  inclosed  trans- 
lation [that  given  above]   of  a  proclamation,  issued  by  the 
Prefect  of  Chang  chow   will,  I  think,  confirm  the  above 
statements. 

*^  Under  these  circumstances  I  have  thought  it  expedient 
that  I  should  immediately  proceed  in  Her  Majesty's  sloop 
Hermes  up  the  Yang  tsze  keang,  where  my  further  pro- 
ceedings, as  regards  reaching  Chin  keang  and  Nanking,  must 
be  guided  by  circumstances.  My  present  object  is  to  explidn 
clearly  to  all  parties  that  the  British  Government  are  for  the 
present  neutral,  and  thereby  undeceive  the  insurgents  in 
regard  to  the  false  statements  made  by  the  Shanghae  Inten- 
dant. Perhaps  this  measure  will  further  have  the  effect  of 
inducing  the  Insurgent  Chiefs  to  declare  their  intentions 
towards  foreigners,  at  all  events  it  will  enable  me  to  convey 
Mr.  Meadows  safely  close  to  the  scene  of  action,  and  prevent 

any  possibility  of  his  being  detained  on  his  way "* 

*  From  the  ParliameniAry  Papers  on  the  Civil  War  in  China. 


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EXCURSION  ON  THE  GRAND  CANAL.        249 

Before  closing  this  chapter,  I  give  the  following  incident, 
the  account  of  which  was  obtained  during  our  Grand  Canal 
excursion,  from  the  principal  actor  himself,  Tso,  a  native  of 
Shan  se ;  a  province  which  gives  birth  to  the  most  enterprising 
and  wealthiest  merchants  engaged  in  the  inland  trade  of 
China.  This  man  saw  the  Tae  ping  Western  Prince,  Seaou, 
in  Keang  se  on  the  Poyang  Lake,  near  its  northern  extremity, 
under  the. following  circumstances: — 

"  Tso,  who  was  about  forty  years  of  age,  had  three  small 
craft,   each  containing  300  peculs   [about  twenty  tons]  of 
kernels  of  peach  and  other  fruit-stones.     They  were  sailing 
quietly  down  the  lake,  bound  for  Nan  chang,  when  they  sud- 
denly perceived  a  squadron  of  vessels  coming  toward  them, 
evidently  containing  *  long-haired  rebels.'      Two  of  Tso's 
vessels,  in  spite  of  his  remonstrances,  attempted  flight,  were 
fired  at  and  sunk,  with  total  loss  of  crew  and  cargo.     The 
one  in  which  Tso  himself  was  did  not  fly.     It  was  soon  sur- 
rounded, and  he  himself  taken  on  board  of  a  large  passenger 
craft  of  the  kind  used  by  officials  and  wealthy  people.  At  the 
end  of  the  cabin,  which  was  lined  on  both  sides  by  spear  and 
sword  men,  sat  a  man  of  about  forty  years  of  age,  of  a  florid 
complexion,  and  dressed  in  a  yellow  jacket  with  embroidered 
dragons,  and  a  yellow  cap  with  a  white  stone  or  pearl  in 
front.     Tso  accordingly  gave  him  the  title  of  Prince;  and 
afterwards  found  that  his  boatmen  had  learned  from  the  train 
of  this  personage,  that  he  was  Seaou,  the  Western  Prince. 

"  Tso  kotowed  several  times  to  the  Prince,  who  enquired 
what  part  of  the  country  he  came  from,  and  what  he  was 
doing  there.  Tso  told  him  that  he  had  had  three  vessels 
laden  with  ftuit-stone  kernels,  which  he  was  carrying  to  Nan 
chang  for  sale ;  that  *  His  Highness  had  done  him  the 
honor  [mung  wang  yay]  to  sink  two;'  and  that  he  pro- 
posed continuing  his  journey  with  the  third.  The  Prince 
said  he  must  have  the  third  for  the  public  service.  Tso 
answered  that  •  His  Highness  could  not  have  it.'  His  High- 
ness ndsed   his    eyebrows  in  surprise,  and  said  sternly: 


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250  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

'  What  I  I  cannot  have  it  I '  Tso  hastened  to  appease  by 
explaining  that  he  meant  that  he  (Tso)  wonld  be  reduced  to 
beggary  if  he  lost  his  cargo.  His  respectful  phraseology  and 
naive  tone  at  last  raised  in  the  Prince  a  friendly  feeling  for 
him.  He  sud,  '  Well  then  you  had  best  come  with  me  to 
Kew  keang  and  discharge  your  cargo  for  sale  there/  Tso 
answered  that  upon  His  Highnesses  honored  approadi  Kew 
keang  had  been  deserted  by  the  inhabitants.  The  Prince 
then  stud :  '  But  you  don't  mean  to  assert  that  you  will  find 
purchasers  at  Nan  chang ; '  to  which  Tso  replied  that  ^  His 
Highness  had  not  honored  that  place  with  his  presence-^ 
His  Highness  then  said  that  he  must  in  any  case  have  the 
vessel.  Tso  replied  that  it  was  a  very  small  one,  and  unfit 
for  His  Highnesses  use.  His  Highness  answered  that  both 
large  and  small  were  useftd,  each  kind  in  its  way ;  and  the 
matter  ended  by  Tso's  goods  being  landed  for  him  at  the 
place  and  his  vessel  being  taken  off.  Tso  then  procured  two 
still  smaller  vessels  from  a  hamlet  in  the  immediate  vicinity, 
and  proceeded  with  them  to  Nan  chang." 


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FOBEIGN  INTERCOUESE  OP  TAB  PINGS.  251 


CHAPTER  XVII. 

IHTKRCOUBSE  OF  THE  TAE  PINGS  WITH  WESTERN  FOREIGNERS. 

Th£  Hermes  started  on  the  22d  April,  1853,  with  the 
Chinese  boat  under  charge  of  Mr.  Reynolds  in  tow.* 

^'  On  the  26th  April,  the  difficulties  of  the  intervening 
navigation  having  been  overcome,  the  Shanghae  Intendant's 
fleet,   of  Macao  Portuguese  lorchaa  and  Occidental  vessels 
manned  by  British  and  Americans,   was  passed  lying  at 
anchor  about  twelve  miles  below  Ching  keang.     At  about 
11  A«  M.  the  Hermes  anchored  off  Silver  Island,  where,  ac- 
cording to   statements  of  Imperialist  mandarins  made  the 
day  before,  and  assurances  of  fishermen  who  had  just  been 
spoken  to,  the  Rebels  had  an  outpost.    But  on  landing 
in  the  Chinese   boat  I  found  in  the  temples  only  a  few 
priests." 

It  was  here  that,  for  the  second  time,  a  sense  of  the 
immense  significance  of  the  rebellious  movement  fell  forcibly 
on  my  mind.  As  I  hurried  rapidly  through  the  deserted 
courts  and  halls,  I  found  everywhere  on  the  spots  which 
are  invariably  occupied  by  enormous  idols,  only  heaps  of 
the  clay,  that  had  formed  portions  of  the  gods  of  this  famed 
temple.    Further,  the  few  scared  priests  who  followed  my 

*  Unleas  otherwise  stated,  aU  those  portions  in  this  Chapter  which  are 
inclosed  in  doable  commas  are  extracts  either  from  my  official  reports  to 
H.  IL's  Flenipotentiaiy,  as  given  in  the  "  Parliamentaiy  Papers  on  the  Ciyil 
War  in  China^"  or  from  my  oontribations  to  the  "  Korth  China  Herald,"  written 
(like  the  reports)  immediately  after  our  return,  when  the  occnrrences  were 
quite  fresh  in  my  memory.  In  the  extracts  from  the  "  Herald"  I  have  substi- 
tuted /  for  my  name,  and  made  a  few  similar  alterations. 


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252  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

steps  had  the  hair  growing  all  over  their  heads,  and  told 
me  that  the  Rebels  had  prohibited  them  on  pain  of  death 
from  practising  the  monastic  rite  of  shaving.     I  thus  had 
direct  evidence  of  that  strictly  anti-idolatrous  spirit  which  I 
had  learnt  on  the  Grand  Canal  to  be  a  leading  characteristic 
of  the  rebels.     There  was,  however,  no  time  for  musiiig 
on  the  fate  of  faiths.     ''  The  assurance  of  the  monks  that 
the  rebels  had  no  permanent  post  on  the  ishind  but   only 
visited  it  occasionally  seemed  true.     They,  however,  stated 
that  certain  junks,  lying  opposite  the  north-eastern  heights  of 
Chin  keang  about  two  miles  farther  up,  were  manned  by 
the  Kebels.    To  these  vessels  I  therefore  repaired,  but  found 
them  unarmed,  and  occupied  only  by  two  or  three  men  in 
each,  who  declared  themselves  to  be  the  original  trading  crews 
compelled  after  their  capture  to  lie  at  that  spot.     In  the 
meantime  the  steamer  had  weighed  anchor  and  followed 
my   boat;    and   a   great    bustle  was    observed  on    shore. 
One  or  two  armed  boats  on  the  beach  began  firing  guns, 
and  the  Insurgent  troops  were  seen  running  to  man  the 
stockades  both  there  and  on  the  heights  above.     The  cause 
of  all  this  was  soon  found  not  to  be  merely  the  appearance  of 
the  Hermes^  but  the  approach  of  the  whole  of  the  Intendant's 
fleet,  which  had  weighed  anchor  and  closely  followed  her; 
and  which  appeared  to  have  been  sooner  descried  from  the 
heights  than  had  been  done  from  the  steamer,  owing  to  a 
thick  fog  on  the  river  which  only  then  began  to  clear  off. 
The  lorchas  had  all  red  flags,  that  at  a  little  distance  were 
not  to  be  distinguished  from  a  faded  British  red-ensign; 
and  after  the  fabe  proclamations  that  had  been  issued  about 
steamers,  the  Rebels  naturally  took  the  Hermes  for  the  first 
of  an  attacking  squadron.     They  accordingly  opened  a  fire 
on  her,  and  as  the  fleet  was  rapidly  nearing  and  a  general 
action  imminent,  no  course  was  left  but  to  steam  on  at  once 
to  Nanking ;  which  was  done,  after  a  note  explanatory  of  the 
circumstances  had  been  handed  to  a  boatman  for  delivery  to 
the  Bebel  Commanders.     The  Hermes  continued  to  be  fired 


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FOREiaN  INTERCOURSE  OP  TAE  PINGS.  253 

at  from  junks  and  stockades  on  both  sides  of  the  river  till 
she  Had  passed  Kwa  chow  ;*  and  we  are  told  that  the  occa- 
sional 'whizzing  of  round  shot  close  over  the  awning  of  the 
quarter-deck  bj  no  means  detracted  from  the  excitement 
caused  by  the  singular  and  highly  picturesque  scene  in  her 
rear.  As  she  had  appeared  in  very  suspicious  company,  and  it 
bad  become  still  more  necessary  than  before  to  convince  the 
Insurgents  of  our  neutrality,  she  did  not  even  prepare 
to  return  the  fire  directed  against  her. 

'*  This  portion  of  the  Great  Biver  must  at  all  times  have 
much  interest.     Out  of  the  wide  expanse  of  channel  through 
which  the  turbid  waters  of  the  third  river  in  the  world  roll 
rapidly  towards  the  ocean,  rise  at  the  distance  of  three  or 
four  miles  fi-om  each  other  two  high  islands,  covered  with 
temples  and  wood.    Between  these,  known  to  foreigners  as 
Golden  and  Silver  Islands,  the  north-eastern  heights  of  Chin 
keang,  a  high  promontory,  likewise  capped  with  temple  and 
pagoda,  overlooks  the  stream  from  the  southern  bank.f    The 
islands  were  not  occupied  by  the  Rebels ;  but  the  promon- 
tory and  large  portions  of  the  river-banks  underneath  had 
been  fortified  by  stockades.     Past  Silver  Island  and  up  into 
this  scene  the  lorchas  now  advanced  and,  sailing  close  in- 
shore,  opened  a  vigorous  and  well-sustained  fire  on  the 
stockades  and  on  the  armed  boats  on  and  near  the  beach. 
There  were  few  guns  in  the  latter,  but  these  the  Rebels, 
nothing  daunted  by  the  sudden  attack,  coolly  manned  and 
discharged  on  their  advancing  enemy.      In  the  meantime 
the  noise  of  the  cannonade   was  bringing  down  numbers 
of  their  comrades  from  the  city,  the  officers  on  horseback 
and  the  men  running  along  on  foot.     Many  of  these  bore 
banners,  a  few  had  matchlocks,  but  the  great  majority  were 
armed  only  with  swords  and  spears.     Yet  they  came  rapidly 

*  It  was  here  that  I  was  complimented  by  the  "  shot  on  the  Great  I^yer** 
that  the  reader  will  find  mentioned  in  Chapter  IIL  of  "  Ciyilization.'* 

t  See  page  285,  for  some  further  description  of  this  important  and  interest- 
ing locality. 


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254  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  REBELLIONS. 

down  and  planted  themselves  on  the  beach  in  the    fsioe 
of  the  heavy  fire  with  a  boldness  that  excited  the  admiration 
of  our  countrymen.     The  groups  had  a  varied  and   liTely 
appearance,  quite  new  in  bodies  of  Chinese.     Many  of  the 
men  had  broad  red  sashes,  all  had  coloured  cloths  for  head- 
dress, unless  when  the  whole  hair  of  the  head  was  very  long, 
and  the  officers  wore  yellow  or  red  hoods  and  jackets.      One 
of  the  latter,  probably  the  Commandant  of  Chin  keang,  had 
stationed  himself  in  the  most  conspicuous  position  of  the 
locality :  under  a  dome  at  the  extremity  of  the  promontory, 
on  which  the  iron  pagoda  stands.     He  had  a  number  of 
guards  around  and  yellow  banners  planted  near;  while  the 
picturesque  effect  of  the  group  was  heightened,  from  time  to 
time,  by  the  flash  and  smoke  from  a  gun  a  yard  or  two  lower 
down. 

*^  The  Intendant*s  fleet  penetrated  as  &r  as  Kwa  <ioWj 
the  head  of  the  Grand  Canal  on  the  northern  bank,  where 
they  were  firing  on  the  junks  and  stockades  when  the 
HermeSj  in  her  progress  up  the  river,  steamed  beyond  the 
range  of  sight'* 

I  have  already  stated  that  this  was  the  first  intercourse  of 
the  new  Chinese  Christians  with  the  Protestant  Christians  of 
the  West ;  and  if  first  impressions  are  the  most  durable,  we 
have  no  cause  to  expect  them  to  think  of  us  with  any 
friendly  feeling.  But  as  regards  the  immediate  military 
consequences,  **  the  result  of  the  action,  as  subsequently 
ascertained,  was  that  the  fleet  retired  to  their  original  station, 
after  expending  no  small  quantity  of  ammunition,  taking 
with  them  the  five  or  six  trading  vessels  anchored  in  the 
midst  of  the  river,  but  no  armed  prizes.  They  did  not  dare 
to  attempt  a  landing.  One  lorcha  got  aground  at  Silver 
Island  and  had  to  signalize  for  assistance;  whereon  one  of 
her  fellows  returned,  into  which  her  crew  after  an  hour  or 
two  was  transferred.  The  priests  of  the  adjoining  temples 
said  it  was  then  about  dark,  and  that  they  retired  to  their 
dormitories  for  the  night,  but  were  soon  roused  by  a  loud 


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FOREIGN  INTEBGOUBSE  OF  TAB  PINGS.  255 

report  ^wliich  shook  their  buildings,  and  on  running  out  they 

found  the  vessel  in  flames.     This  account  was  corroborated 

by  the   Rebels,  who  said  they  had  not  approached  her,  and 

that   she  must  have  been  fired  by  her  crew  before  being 

deserted.     So  far  as  could  be  ascertained  or  perceived  by 

the  HermeB  on  her  return  a  week  after,  the  attack  had  had 

no  other  effect  on  the  Bebels  than  to  make  them  dispose 

their    grain  junks  in  a  position  more  protected  by  their 

batteries,  and  to  moimt  more  guns  in,  and  make  material 

additions  to,  the  latter.*' 

Ab  we  were  leaving  the  above  fight  behind  us  on  the  26th, 
we  took  two  men  out  of  one  of  the  unarmed  Bebel  vessels,  of 
winch  several  were  flying  up  the  river.     This  one  had  only 
some  four  or  five  men  on  board  of  her.     She  was  one  of  the 
up-country  trading  craft  that  the  Rebels  had  seized  on  their 
way  down  to  Nanking,  and  the  two   men  we  took  were 
a  part  of  her  original  crew.   They  were,  therefore,  not  "  long 
haired  "  rebels ;  but,  viewing  the  cannonading  through  which 
we  had  just  passed,  it  was  deemed  expedient  to  take  them  to 
Nanking^  there  to  be  used  as  the  means  of  allaying  any 
alarm  which  our  approach  might  create,  and  of  so  rendering 
peaceful    communication   possible.     As  illiterate  boatmen, 
who  had  been  but  a  few  weeks  with  the  Bebels,  little  infor- 
mation was  to  be  obtained  from  them.     Of  the  Tae  ping 
religion  they  could  tell  me  no  more  than  I  had  learnt  on  the 
Grand  Canal;  but  they  were  able  to  corroborate  the  fact 
that  Yang  sew  tsing,  the  Eastern  Prince,  was  the  chief 
niilitary  and  political  authority.      The  Heavenly  Prince, 
they  said,  was  the   acknowledged  Sovereign,  but  he  was 
never  seen,  and  spent  his  time  in  ^'  peen  shoo,  writing  books.'' 
At  first  these  men  took  the  Hermes  for  a  vessel  of  the 
Imperial  fleet ;  but  when  I  had  made  them  comprehend  our 
object,  they  were  evidently  not  ill-pleased  to  get  away  from 
the  fighting  and  become  the  bearers  of  a  message  which,  they 
presently  saw,  would  be  a  relief  to  the  Bebels  in  the  batteries 
^  Nanking.    At  dark  the  Hermes  anchored  about  twelve 


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256  THE  CHINESE   AND  THEIB  BEBELLIONS. 

miles  below  that  place.     "During  the  night  several   lar^ 
timber-rafts  passed  her  on  fire.     In  the  forenoon  of  the  27u 
she  anchored  ofi^  the  northern  angle  of  Nanking,  below  tk 
first  battery  planted  by  the  Insurgents  to  defend  the  entrance 
to  two  creeks  running  under  the  walls,  and  in  which  lav 
an  immense  number  of  large  river  junks.     A  great  hustk 
was  observed  on  shore,  and  a  gun  or  two  in  the   batteir 
began  firing  at  the  steamer,  but  ceased  when  the  two  people 
that  had  been  taken  the  preceding  day  landed  with  a  letter 
explaining  that  she  had   come  with  no  hostile  intentioDs. 
Shortly  after,  some  eight  or  ten  of  the  insurgents  came  along- 
side in  a  small  boat,  the  first  to  appear  on  the  deck  heing  a 
good-looking  young  man,  an  officer,  in  a  close  fitting  red 
Chinese  jacket,  who  from  his  long  hair  was  evidently  a  genuine 
**  rebel "  of  old  standing  and  who,  as  the  first  specimen  of 
these  much  discussed  people  met  with,  was  viewed  and  ques- 
tioned with  some  interest  by  our  countrymen.     Other  boats 
speedily  followed,  in  one  of  which  Mr.  Reynolds  took  a 
passage  on  shore ;  where  he  met  with  a  civil  reception  from  a 
leader  in  charge  of  the  stockaded  battery  that  had  just  been 
firing.     In  the  meantime  a  reply  having  been  received  to 
the  note  despatched   on  arrival,   the  Plenipotentiary  sent 
me   on   shore  to  open  a  communication  with  some  more 
influential  leader." 

The  reply  just  received,  though  from  the  leader  who  had 
charge  of  the  river  batteries  and  the  conunand  over  some 
thousands  of  men,  was  illiterate ;  but  it  was  curious  as  show- 
ing how  thoroughly  the  theory  of  right  to  the  sovereignty, 
which  I  have  expounded  in  Chapter  II.,  is  known  even  to 
the  less  informed  Chinese.  The  note  sent  on  shore  was  in 
the  name  of  Capt  Fishboume,  and  merely  stated  the  fact  of 
the  arrival  of  the  Plenipotentiary  and  his  wish  to  put  himself 
into  communication  with  the  persons  in  chief  authority  at 
Nanking.  But  the  reply  entered  at  once  into  general  ques- 
tions, and  laid  down  lie  "right  to  rebel."  The  writer 
stated  that  the  Chinese  had  long  wished  to  expel  "  the  Tar- 


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FOBEIGN  INTEBCOURSE   OF  TAK  PINGS.  257 

tars  (Hoo  noo  or  Huns),"  but  that  "the  Divine  Commission 
not  having  been  taken  from  them,"  they  (the  Chinese)  were 
constrained  to  await  *^  Heaven's  own  time."  Now,  however, 
**  the  Divine  Commission  had  been  conferred  on  the  Chinese," 
and  hence  they  were  "  bound  (puh  tih  puh)  to  do  their  duty 
to  Heaven  by  extirpating  the  demons  (Manchoos)  and  aiding 
in  the  establishment  of  their  own  Sovereign."  The  reader 
will  do  well  to  remember  that,  whatever  the  immediate 
causes  may  be  which  induce  Chinese  to  take  up  arms  against 
the  Imperial  Government  at  the  present  time,  few  would 
venture  to  do  it  but  for  the  existence  of  this  grand  old 
national  doctrine,  as  a  justification. 

I  landed  in  one  of  the  Hermes''  boats,  and  was  accompa- 
nied on  the  occasion  by  her  second  lieutenant,  Mr.  Spratt. 
Feeling  that  it  would  only  delay  matters  to  get  into  talk 
with  our  illiterate  correspondent,  "  I  requested  to  be  con- , 
ducted  to  the  highest  authority  to  whom  immediajt^  accesd 
could  be  obtained.     After  about  half  an  hour's  walk,  letl-by 
one  or  two  volunteer  guides,  and  surrounded  by  numbeifs  of 
the  Insurgent  troops,  we  were  stopped  in  front,  of  a  bouse  in 
the   northern  suburb.     Our  attendants  h^re  ranged  them- 
selves in  two  rows,  forming  an  avenue  of^ten  or  £Ilfceen  yards 
in  length  from  the  door  of  the  house*  to  ourselves.     Two 
persons  clothed  in  yellow  silk  gowns  and  hoQ^s  then  appeared 
at  the  threshold,  and  the  soldiers  about  called  on  me  to 
kneel.     This  I  refused  to  do,  but  advanced  and,  uncovering, 
told  the  two  persons  that  I  had  been  sent  by  Her  Majesty's 
Plenipotentiary  to  make  inquiries  and  arrangements  respect- 
ing a  meeting  between  him  and  the  chief  authorities  at  Nan- 
king.    As  they  retreated  into  the  house  without  giving  any 
reply,  while  the  summons  to  kneel  was  being  continued,  and 
Mr.  Spratt  was  called  on  by  words  and  gestures  to  lay  aside 
his  sword,  I,  after  recommending  that  gentleman  to  disre- 
gard the  requisition,  deemed  it  advisable  to  follow  the  Chiefs 
without  awaiting  invitation.  I  accordingly  entered  the  house, 
and,  advancing  to  the  spot  where  they  had  seated  themselves, 

s 


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258  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  REBELLIONS. 

on  the  only  two  chairs  within  sight,  agtun  infonned  iiiexn.  of 
the  purpose  for  which  I  had  come.  Before  I  had  well  finished 
I  heard  scuffling  and  angry  shouting  at  the  door  behind  me, 
and  the  Chiefs  cry ing  out,  *  Ta  1 '  ^Beat!'  two  or  three  oi 
their  armed  followers  commenced   beating  the   man    who 
had  been  most  prominent  in  guiding  us  there.     One  of  the 
Chiefs,  whom  I  subsequently  ascertained  to  be  known  as  the 
Northern  Prince,  then  asked  if  I  worshipped  'God   the 
Heavenly  Father?'    I  replied  that  the  English  had  done  so 
for  eight  or  nine  hundred  years.     On  this  he  exchanged  a 
glance  of  consultation  with  his  companion  (the  Asaistaot 
Prince),  and  then  ordered  seats  to  be  brought.    Afler  I  and 
my  companion  had  seated  ourselves^  a  conversation  of  con- 
siderable length  ensued  between  myself  and  the  Northern 
Prince,  the  first  in  rank  of  the  two;  the  other^  the  As- 
sistant Prince,  listening  and  observing  attentively,  but  saying 
nothing  to  me  directly,  and  only  making  a  short  remark 
when  looked  to  or  addressed  by  his  superordinate*    The  con- 
versation on  my  part  was  turned  chiefly  on  the  number  and 
relative  rank  of  the  Insurgent  Chiefs,  and  on  the  drcum- 
stances  under  which  they  would  be  prepared  to  meet  Sir 
George  Bonham;  but  I  also  explained,  as  authorized,  the 
simple  object  of  his  visit,  viz.,  to  notify  the  desire  of  the 
British  Government  to  remain    perfectly  neutral    in    the 
struggle  between  them  and  the  Manchoos,  and  to  learn 
their  feelings  towards  us  and  their  intentions  in  the  event 
of  their  forces  advancing  on  Shanghae.    I  explained  to  him 
that  we  had  no  concern  with  the  square-rigged  vessels^ 
lorchas,  and  other  craft  that  had  followed  the -Harm^*  into 
Chin  keang ;   also  that  the  proclamations  of  the  Manchoo 
officials,  stating  that  they  had  engaged  the  services  of  a  num- 
ber of  foreign  steamers,  were  false  in  so  far  as  British  vessels 
were  included ;  and  that  though  we  could  not  prevent  the 
sale  of  English  craft,  private  property,  more  than  the  sale  of 
manufactures  generally,  such  craft,  after  sale,  were  not  en- 
titled to  the  use  of  the  national  colours. 


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FOBEIGN  INTEBCOUHSE  OP  TAE  PINGS.  259 

^'  la  all  this  the  Northern  Prince  listened,  but  made  little 
or   no   rejoinder;  the  conversation,  in  so  far  as  directed  by 
him,  consisting  mainly  of  inquiries  as  to  our  religious  beliefs 
and   expositions  of  their  own.     He  stated  that  as  children 
and  ^worshippers  of  one  God  we  were  all  brethren ;  and  after 
receiving  my  assurance  that  such  had  long  been  our  view 
also,  inquired  if  I  knew  the  *  Heavenly  Rules'  (Teen  teaou). 
I  replied  that  I  was  most  likely  acquainted  with  them,  though 
-unable  to  recognise  them  under  that  name ;  and,  after  a  mo- 
ment's thought,   asked  if  they  were  ten  in  number.     He 
answered  eagerly  in  the  afiSrmative.     I  then  began  repeating 
the  substance  of  the  first  of  the  Ten  Commandments,  but 
had  not  proceeded  far  before  he  laid  his  hand  on  my  shoulder 
in  a  friendly  way,  and  exclaimed,  *  The  same  as  ourselves ! 
the  same  as  ourselves  1 '  while  the  simply  observant  expres- 
sion on  the  face  of  his  companion  disappeared  before  one  of 
satisfaction  as  the  two  exchanged  glances.     He  then  stated, 
with  reference  to  my  previous  inquiry  as  to  their  feelings 
and  intentions  towards  the  British,  that  not  merely  might 
peace  exist  between  us,  but  that  we  might  be  intimate 
friends.     He  added,  we  might  now,  at  Nanking,  land  and 
walk  about  where  we  pleased.     He  spoke  repeatedly  of  a 
foreigner  at  Canton,  whom  he  named  Lo  ho  sun,  as  being  a 
'good  man.'*     He  described  this  person  as  one  who  cured 
the  sick  without  remuneration,  and  as  having  been  recently 
home  for  a  short  period.*     He  recurred  again  and  again, 
with  an  appearance  of  much  gratitude,  to  the  circumstance 
that  he  and  his  companions  in  arms  had  enjoyed  the  special 
protection  and  aid  of  God,  without  which  they  could  never 
have  been  able  to  do  what  they  had  done  against  superior 
numbers  and  resources ;  and  alluding  to  our  declaration  of 
neutrality  and  non-assistance  to  the  Manchoos^  said,  with  a 
quiet  air  of  thorough  conviction,  '  It  would  be  wrong  for  you 
to  help  them ;  and,  what  is  more,  it  would  be  of  no  use.     Our 

*  I  afterwards  ascertained  that  Lo  ho  sun  was  the  Chinese  name  assumed  by 
Mr.  Roberts.    There  cannot  be  a  doubt  that  he  was  the  person  referred  to. 

S2 


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260  THE  CHINESE   AND  THEIR  BEBELUONS. 

Heavenly    Father  helps    us^  and  no  one  can  fi^ht   ^tli 
Him.' 

*^  With  respect  to  the  proposed  meeting,  he  pointed  to  one 
of  his  officers  standing  near,  and  eaid  the  latter  woald  come 
on  the  following  day  to  guide  any  who  might  choose  to  come 
to  an  interview.     I  replied  that  such  an  arrangement  might 
do  very  well  for  myself  and  others,  but  that  Sir  George  Bon- 
ham  was  an  officer  of  high  rank  in  Her  Britannic  Majesty's 
service,  and  could  certainly  not  proceed  to  any  meeting  un- 
less it  were  previously  settled  where,  by  whom,  and  how  he 
was  to  be  received.     *  However  high  his  rank  may  be,'  was 
the  reply,  *  he  cannot  be  so  high  as  the  persons  in  whose 
presence  you  are  now  sitting.'     And  I  could  obtain  nothing 
more  definite  than  that  the  reception  would  take  place  in  a 
yamun  in  the  city,  and  that  we  should  have  no  cause  to  take 
objections  to  the  station  of  the  personages  met.  I  said  I  should 
make  my  report  to  his  Excellency  accordingly,  but  could  not 
answer  for  his  landing.     In  reply  to  my  inquiries  respecting 
the  Tae  ping  Wang,  the  Prince  of  Peace,  the  Northern 
Prince  explained  in  writing  that  he  was  the  *  True  Lord ' 
or  Sovereign ;  that  *  the  Lord  of  China  is  the  Lord  of  the 
whole  world ;  he  is  the  second  Son  of  God,  and  all  people  in 
the  whole  world  must  obey  and  follow  him.'     As  I  read  this 
without  remark,  he  said,  looking  at  me  interrogatively,  '  The 
True  Lord  is  not  merely  the  Lord  of  China ;  he  is  not  only 
our  Lord,  he  is  your  Lord  also.'     As  I  still  made  no  remark, 
but  merely  kept  looking  at  him,  he  did  not  think  fit  to  insist 
on  an  answer,  and,  after  a  while,  turned  his  head,  and  b^an 
talking  of  other  matters.    His  conversation  gave  great  reason 
to  conclude  that  though  his  religious  beliefs  were  derived 
from  the  writings,  or  it  might  even  be  the  teachings,  of 
foreigners,  still  he  was  quite  ignorant  of  the  relative  posi- 
tions of  foreign  countries ;  and  had  probably  got  most  of  his 
notions  of  international  dealings  from  the  Chinese  records  of 
periods  when  the  territory  of  the  present  Empire  was  divided 
into  several  States." 


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FOREIGN  INTERCOURSE   OF  TAE  PINGS.  261 

These  "Princes"  were  southern  men  speaking  as  their 
native  tongue  a  southern  dialect^  and  I  observed  that  it  cost 
the  Northern  Prince  some  effort  to  pronounce  according  to 
the  mandarin  pronunciation.     When  I  therefore  began  in- 
quiring about  Teen  tih,  I  wrote  these  words  with  a  pencil  on 
a  sheet  of  memorandum  paper  to  prevent  misunderstanding. 
After  finishing  with  Teen  tih,  I  wrote  Tee  ping,  and  again 
handed  the  paper  to  the  Northern  Prince ;  upon  which  he 
asked  for  the  pencil  also  and  wrote  the  words  translated  in 
the  text.     Fortunately  I  have  chanced  to  preserve  an  auto- 
graph   so  curious.      Mr.  Hamberg  and   Mr.  Roberts  had 
already  heard  at  Hong  Kong  of  the  Rebels  being  a  Christian 
sect ;  but  this  was  the  first  announcement  to  any  foreigner 
of  the  astounding  claims  put  forward  in  behalf  of  the  Hea- 
venly Prince.     The  fact  of  the  latter  having,  at  the  head  of 
eighty  thousand  men,  taken  Nanking  and  inexorably  put  to 
death  twenty  to  thirty  thousand  of  those  whom  he  regarded 
as  the  born  enemies  of  his  people,  made  his  supernatural 
claim  no  truer  indeed  in  my  eyes,  but  it  gave  immense 
political  significance  to  what  I  should  otherwise  have  merely 
laughed  at  as  the  delusion  of  a  fanatic. 

We  returned  to  our  boat  surrounded,  as  in  coming,  by 
numbers  of  the  armed  crowd,  but  meeting  with  neither 
molestation  nor  insult. 

There  would  appear  to  have  been  some  discussion  and 
division  of  opinion  among  the  chief  counsellors  of  the  new 
dynasty  as  to  the  precise  course  to  be  pursued  toward  us ; 
and  it  was  probably  the  will  of  the  Eastern  Prince  that  de- 
cided that  the  official  who  was  to  have  acted  as  guide  did  not 
appear,  but,  late  in  the  afternoon,  two  others  in  his  place, 
with  the  following  open  and  unsealed  ^^  mandate :  '^ 


"  Commands  are  hereby  issued  to  the  brethren  from  afar 
that  they  may  all  understand  the  rules  of  ceremony. 


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262  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

"  Whereas  God  the  Heavenly  Father  has  sent  our  Sove- 
reign down  on  earthy  as  the  true  Sovereign  of  all  natioDs 
in  the  world,  all  people  in  the  world  who  wish  to  appear  at 
his  Court  must  yield  obedience  to  the  rules  of  ceremony. 
They  must  prepare  representations,  stating  who  and  what 
they  are,  and  from  whence  they  come,  after  previous  presen- 
tation of  which  only  can  audience  be  accorded  them.  Obey 
these  commands. 

"  24th  day  of  the  3rd  month  of  the  3rd  year  of  the  Hea- 
venly State  of  Tae  ping  (28th  April,  1853). 

"  Note. — No  seal  is  affixed  because  your  petition  of  yes- 
terday had  none." 

It  was  manifest  from  this  reassertion  on  paper  of  the 
notion  of  universal  supremacy  enunciated  the  day  before  by 
the  Northern  Prince,  that  we  could  not  too  soon  begin  to 
disabuse  them  of  it^  I  accordingly  returned  the  paper  with 
a  message  to  the  senders,  conveying  in  the  plainest  posdble 
terms  our  own  views  of  fuU  national  equality  with  any  and 
every  State,  I  may  here  mention  that  I  was  not,  in  any  of 
the  conversations  I  had  with  the  Tae  pings,  cramped  by  mere 
interpreting.  Sir  George  Bonham  did  not  of  course  intend 
seeing  any  officials  of  secondary  or  lesser  rank,  and  did  not, 
it  so  happened,  see  any  of  the  higher  men.  Hence  though 
I  was  the  expounder  of  his  views  as  to  neutrality,  &c.,  I  was 
free  to  select  my  own  arguments  and  phraseology,  unfettered 
by  purely  English  ideas  and  idioms.  On  the  present  occasion, 
in  order  to  make  those  two  officers  clearly  aware  of  our  inde- 
pendent position  hitherto  at  Hong  Kong  and  the  Five  Ports, 
I  got  out  my  copy  in  Chinese  and  English  of  our  treaties 
with  the  Manchoo  Government ;  and,  at  the  request  of  the 
Plenipotentiary,  it  was  eventually  sent  by  their  hands  to 
their  superiors  in  his  name. 

During  the  whole  of  this  and  the  following  days,  that  the 
Hermes  lay  off  Nanking,  her  decks  were  crowded  by  a  suc- 
cession of  curious  visitors,  officers  as  well  as  men ;  while  there 
was  always  a  party  sitting  in  my  Chinese  boat  talking  with 


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FOKEIGN  INTERCOUESE  OF  TAE  PINGS.  263 

my  clerks^  Chang  and  Fang,  my  cook  and  servant.    In  this 

way  ^we  had  some  amusing  conversations,  and  learnt  some  par« 

ticulars  that  could  not  be  got  in  the  official  discussions.     The 

Great  Jliver  at  Nanking  is  upwards  of  a  mile  in  breadth  with 

an    average  depth  of  fifteen  fathoms.     On  the  day  of  her 

arrival  the  Hermes  lay  pretty  close  in-shore,  on  the  Nanking 

side  ;  but  at  night,  the  Imperialists  sending  down  a  number  of 

large  fire  rafts,  she  was  compelled  to  anchor  fully  three  quarters 

of  a  mile  off  on  the  opposite  side,  out  of  the  way  of  the  strength 

of  the  current,  and  therefore  less  exposed  to  such  dangerous 

visitors.    Thither  the  Rebels  came  to  us  in  open  boats,  which 

seemed  to  belong  to  nobody,  and  of  which  there  was  great 

abundance. 

On  the  afternoon  of  the  day  after  we  returned  the  "  man- 
date,^' an  intimation  came  on  board  to  the  effect  that  Lae,  the 
second  of  the  Tae  pings  beneath  those  bearing  the  title  of 
Prince,  had  come  down  to  the  landing-place  and  wanted  to 
communicate.  I  at  once  despatched  my  man  Chang  to  get 
him  to  come  on  board  if  possible.  Chang  succeeded  so  well 
in  his  mission  that  we  soon  saw  Lae  coming  off  in  a  fine  up- 
country  travelling  vessel  bearing  a  large  flag^  and  with  a  band 
of  music  playing  on  the  foredeck. 

Lae,  whom  I  may  here  introduce  to  the  reader  as  that  man 
among  the  Tae  ping  leaders  who  showed  most  desire  to  esta- 
blish friendly  relations  with  the  "  foreign  brethren,"  at  once 
^^  apologized  for  the  tone  of  the  mandate  of  the  preceding  day, 
saying  it  had  been  drawn  up  by  persons  ignorant  of  the  fact 
that  'Wae  heung  te,  foreign  brethren,'  could  not  be  ad- 
dressed in  the  same  style  as  native  brethren.  I  distinctly 
explained  to  him  that  while  the  English  had,  for  900  years, 
adored  the  Great  Being  whom  he  called  the  Heavenly  Father, 
they  on  earth  acknowledged  allegiance  to  but  one  Lord,  the 
Sovereign  of  the  British  Empire ;  and  that,  under  no  circum- 
stances whatsoever,  woulu  they  for  an  instant  admit  fealty  to 
any  other ;  though  they  were  quite  prepared  to  recognbe  as 
the  Sovereign  of  the  Chinese  whomsoever  the  Chinese  them- 


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264  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

selves  might  choose  or  submit  to  as  such.  Afler  this  had 
been  fully  assented  to  by  Lae^  I  stated  to  him^  at  considerable 
lengthy  the  circumstances  of  our  desire  to  preserve  neutrality, 
of  our  having  no  connection  with  the  vessels  in  the  employ  of 
the  Manchoo  Government,  &c.  &c.,  as  had  been  done  to 
the  Northern  and  Assistant  Princes  two  days  before.  After 
this  it  was  settled  that  Lae,  or  a  lesser  officer^,  Leang,  who 
accompanied  him,  should  be  in  attendance  at  the  landing- 
])lace  on  the  following  day,  at  11  a.m.,  with  a  sufficient 
number  of  chairs  and  horses  to  convey  Her  Majesty's  Pleni- 
potentiary,  his  suite,  and  some  naval  officers  to  the  residences 
of  the  Northern  and  Eastern  Princes. 

*^  On  the  30th  of  April,  the  two  officers,  Lae  and  Lieaog^ 
came  to  the  landing-place  with  chairs  and  horses  as  bad 
been  arranged,  but  his  Excellency  sent  to  state,  that  the  tem- 
pestuous weather  (which  rendered  it  difficult  to  land  dry)  and 
indisposition  prevented  his  carrying  out  the  intention  of  yes- 
terday, and  that  I  should  in  an  hour  or  two  land  as  the  bearer 
of  a  letter,  communicating  all  that  was  to  have  been  stated 
verbally.  Handed  accordingly  at  1  p.m.,  Captain  Fishboume 
and  Messrs.  Woodgate  and  Burton  accompanying  me.  Horses 
were  furnished  at  the  landing-place,  and  we  were  guided  into 
the  city,  to  a  house  occupied  as  a  Yamun,  by  the  four  officers 
next  in  rank  below  those  called  Princes,  Lae  being  of  the 
number.  We  found  that  the  latter  had,  after  leaving  the 
landing-place,  gone  to  the  Northern  and  Eastern  Princes,  and 
had  not  yet  returned  to  his  residence.  As  one  of  the  other 
occupants  was  just  then  engaged  in  investigating  a  case  of 
rape,  we  found  the  place  crowded  with  spectators,  whose  curi- 
osity subjected  us  to  some  annoyance  until  the  house-steward 
procured  us  seats  in  an  inner  apartment.  We  waited  here 
about  an  hour,  during  which  tea  and  other  refreshments  were 
offered  us,  and  an  officer  came  from  Lae  to  apologize  for  his 
delay  in  appearing,  and  to  beg  us  to  attribute  it  to  nothing 
but  to  pressing  business.  Eventually  we  were  received  by 
the  Ching  seang,   his   immediate  superordinate,  and  three 


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FOREIGN  INTERCOURSE  OF  TAE  PINGS.  265 

others.  I  was  explaining  the  nature  of  my  errand^  and  en* 
deavouring  to  get  them  to  take  me  either  to  the  Northern  or 
Kastem  Prince  to  deliver  the  letter,  when  Lae  appeared. 
lie  and  the  others  pressed  us  very  much  to  dine  and  sleep 
there  that  night,  engaging  to  take  us  to  the  Northern  and 
Eastern  Princes  on  the  following  morning;  but  as  we  were 
quite  unprepared  for  this,  I  ultimately  delivered  the  letter  to 
Lae,  and  we  reached  the  Hermes  again  just  before  dark.'' 
The  following  was  the  letter  in  question : — 

''Hermes,  off  Nanking ,  April  28, 1853. 

**  I  received  yesterday  your  message  conveyed  through  the 
Ministers  sent  on  board  for  that  purpose,  to  the  effect  that  you 
were  willing  to  receive  me  in  the  city,  in  the  event  of  my 
being  desirous  of  paying  you  a  visit.  It  was  at  first  my 
intention  to  see  you  on  shore,  but  the  weather  and  other  cir- 
cumstances prevent  my  doing  so,  and,  therefore,  I  have  to 
convey  to  you  in  writing  the  sentiments  I  should  have  com- 
municated to  you  verbally  had  I  visited  you.  Those  sentiments 
are  to  the  following  effect : — 

"  Our  nation,  the  British,  have  had  commercial  dealings 

with  the  Chinese  at  the  port  of  Canton  for  upwards  of  200 

years;  and  about  ten  years  back  a  Treaty  of  Peace  and  a  set 

of  commercial  regulations  were  agreed  on,  whereby  British 

merchants  and  other  British  subjects  are  entitled  to  erect 

houses  and  dwell  with  their  families  at  the  five  ports  of 

Canton,  Amoy,  Foochow,  Ningpo,  and  Shanghae,  and,  on 

due  payment  of  the  tariff  duties,  to  carry  on  an  unrestricted 

commerce  without  let  or  hindrance.     At  each  of  the  five 

ports,  British  Consular  officers  are  stationed,  specially  charged 

with  the  authority  over  British  subjects,  and  I  have  had  the 

honor  to  receive  instructions  from  my  Sovereign,  whereby 

I  am  stationed  at  Hong  Kong,  with  the  general  control  of 

British  subjects  and  affairs  at  the  five  ports,  and  it  falls 

within  my  province  to  arrange  all  international  questions  that 

arise  between  the  two  States.     This  state  of  things  has  con- 


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266  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

tinued  without  change  for  more  than  ten  years.  Secendj, 
however,  it  came  to  my  ears  that  a  contest  was  going  on 
between  the  native  Chinese  and  tiie  Manchoos^  and  that  you, 
the  Eastern  Prince,  had  taken  Nanking.  A  variety  of  reports^ 
connected  with  the  subject,  were  in  circulation,  and  certain  of 
the  Manchoo  authorities  had  issued  a  proclamation  to  the 
effect  that  they  had  '  borrowed  the  services  of  ten  and  odd 
steamers  of  Western  nations,  which  would  proceed  up  the 
Yang  tsze  to  attack  your  forces.'  This  is  altogether  Mse. 
It  is  the  established  custom  of  our  nation  in  no  wise  to  inter- 
fere with  any  contests  that  may  take  place  in  the  countries 
frequented  by  our  subjects  for  commercial  purposes.  It  is, 
therefore,  totally  out  of  the  question  that  we  should  now  in 
China  lend  the  services  of  our  steamers  to  give  assistance  in 
the  struggle.  Of  the  lorchas  hired  by  the  Manchoo  authori- 
ties and  the  square-rigged  vessels  purchased  by  them  I  know 
nothing ;  British  merchant  vessels  are  not  allowed  to  let  their 
services  in  such  contest ;  but  I  cannot  prevent  the  sale  of 
vessels,  the  private  property  of  British  subjects,  still  less  those 
of  other  nations,  any  more  than  I  can  prevent  the  sale  of 
cotton  manufactures  or  other  merchandise,  with  which  it 
stands  on  the  same  footing.  Vessels  once  sold  are,  howeven 
not  permitted  to  hoist  our  national  colours,  and  British  sub- 
jects have  no  right  to  continue  on  board  of  the  same  in  the 
service  of  the  Manchoo  authorities,  and  will,  under  such  cir- 
cumstances, receive  no  protection  whatever  from  our  Gk>vem- 
ment.  In  short,  it  is  our  desire  to  remsun  perfectly  neutral 
in  the  conflict  between  you  and  the  Manchoos.  But  oar 
nation  has  a  large  establishment  at  Shanghae,  of  dwelling- 
houses,  places  for  public  worship,  and  warehouses,  while  the 
port  is  frequented  by  numbers  of  our  vessels.  You,  on  the 
other  hand,  have  now  reached  Nanking,  at  no  great  distance 
from  Shanghae,  and  we  hear  it  reported  that  it  is  the  inten- 
tion of  your  forces  to  proceed  to  Soochow,  Sung  keang,  and 
the  neighbouring  places.  Under  these  circumstances  it  be- 
comes desirable  to  know  by  what  spirit  you  will  be  actuated 


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FOREIGN  INTEBCOURSE  OF  TAE  PINGS*  267 

in  your  measaree  having  relation  to  the  British j  in  the  event 
of  your  proceeding  to  Shanghae. 

'^  In  concluBion  I  have  only  to  add,  that  it  is  my  intention 

to  proceed  this  afternoon  a  short  distance  up  this  river,  and 

as  to-morrow  is  Sunday,  and  a  day  of  rest,  no  business  can 

be  transacted  before  Monday,  when  I  shall  be  again  at  this 

anchorage  early  in  the  morning,  and  ready  to  receive  any 

reply  that  you  may  have  to  give  to  the  above  communication. 

At  the  same  time  should  you  or  any  one  of  the  four  Princes 

see  fit  to  come  then  on  board  to  see  the  ship,  I  shall  willingly 

receive  you  and  promise  you  a  suitable  reception  and  a  safe 

landing. 

(Signed)       "S.  G.  Bonham." 

The  last  paragraph  of  the  above  letter  gives  the  chief  cause 
of  our  declining  to  pass  the  night  in  the  city. 

*'  At  daylight  on  the  1st  of  May  the  Hermes  got  under 
weigh  and  proceeded  up  the  river.     When  about  eight  miles 
above  Nanking,  some  15  or  20  river  craft  of  the  Canton  build 
and  rig  (centipedes)  were  observed  ahead,  getting  their  sails 
up  and  going  off  as  if  in  flight.     They  were  at  once  perceived 
to  be  the  Imperialist  upper  flotilla.     The  rearmost  was  soon 
closed  with  and  called  dongside.     One  of  those  in  advance, 
seeing  her  consort  proceeding  quietly  to  the  steamer  and  see- 
ing the  latter  stop,  doubtless  comprehended  there  was  no 
hostile  intention,  and  tlierefore  thought  proper  to  fire  a  gun 
which  sent  its  shot  over  the  bows  of  the  Hermes.    The  boat 
that  had  been  called  alongside  was  sent  on  to  tell  the  others 
that  there  was  no  occasion  either  to  fire  or  to  move,  as  the 
Hermes  had  come  merely  to  get  information  as  to  the  state  of 
affairs.     She  proceeded  on  this  mission  very  leisurely,  and  as 
two  more  shotted  guns  were  fired  by  vessels  she  had  spoken 
to,  Captain  Fishboume  ordered  the  ports  to  be  dropped  and 
the  guns  prepared.     After  this  there  was  no  more  firing. 
The  vessels  which  composed  the  flotilla  had  been  built  at  the 
head  of  the  Hoonan  branch  of  the  Great  River  and  had  been 


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268  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

following  in  the  track  of  the  Rebels  down.  They  were  found  to 
be  manned  altogether  by  Canton  volunteer  gunners  or  'cannon 
braves,*  many  of  whom  the  mandarins  have  since  stated  to  be 
reclaimed  pirates.  There  were  no  regular  forces  nor  aar 
mandarins  present,  and  each  vessel  was  stated  to  be  independ* 
ent  of  the  others.  Several  of  the  headmen  or  commanders 
came  on  board  the  Hermes ;  but  no  exact  information  respect- 
ing the  position  and  strength  of  the  Imperial  armies  could  be 
obtained  from  them.  One  who  had  all  the  appearance  and 
manner  of  an  impudent  China-street  shopkeeper  was  however 
at  pains  to  explain  emphatically^  and  with  an  air  of  much 
disgust,  that  the  Bebels  were  ^  Christians  and  robbers^  robbers 
and  Christians/  The  Hermes  anchored  again  off  Xankbg 
about  dsLvk" 

Instead  of  lying,  as  I  had  hitherto  done,  alongside  of  the 
steamer,  I  went  to  the  Nanking  side,  where  I  lay  during  the 
night  among  the  Rebel  craft ;  and  before  it  was  quite  dark 
Mr.  Reynolds  and  myself  had  a  ramble  through  a  part  of 
their  position.    In  doing  so,  we  entered  the  office  of  a  Sze 
shwae  or  General  of  Division,  and  saw  several  men  being  en- 
rolled, who  had  come  in  from  the  country  to  join  the  Tac 
pings.     My  clerks  dined  with  the  officer  in  charge  of  that 
particular  portion  of  the  river  front  in  which  our  boat  lay.    He 
was,  I  think,  a  Leu  shwae  (or  Colonel  commanding  525  men). 
Both  the  General  of  Division  and  the  Colonel  had  long  hair, 
but  both  were  Hoonan  men,  who  had  joined  the  Tae  pings 
since  their  entrance  into  the   Great  Eiver  valley.     The 
Colonel  almost  complained  to  my  people  of  the  severity  of 
the  discipline  maintained.     Negligence,  not  to  speak  of  dis- 
obedience, was,  he  said,  punished  with  immediate  decapita- 
tion.   As  we  had  had  several  complete  sets  of  the  religious, 
political  and  military  publications  of  the  Tae  pings  for  some 
days  in  our  possession  (I  had  asked  the  Northern  Prince  and 
Lae  to  send  us  copies  of  all  they  had  issued)  we  had  now  a 
tolerably  good  notion  of  their  principles  and  organization; 
and  were  better  able  to  put  further  questions. 


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FOREIGN  INTERCOURSE  OP  TAE  PINGS.  269 

lEarly  on  the  morning  of  the  3rd  the  following  communi-* 
^sLtiofn^  written  on  a  long  piece  of  yellow  silk,  was  received 
>rft.  board: 

"OF 
THE  HEAVENLY  KINGDOM  OF  TAE  PING 

BT 

THE  TRUE  DIVINE  COMMISSION, 

WE, 

Yang,  Seaou, 

the  Eastern  Prince  Ho  nae  the  Western  Prince, 

:&rlaster,*  Lord    Healer  of  g  Assistant  Minister 

Diseases,  First  Minister  and  ^  and 

Commmander  of  the  Chief  Second  Commander  of 

Army ;  the  Chief  Army ; 

Hereby 
issue  a  decree  to  the  English  from  afar,  who  have .  hitherto 
revered  Heaven  and  have  now  come  to  give  in  their  alle- 
giance to  our  Sovereign,  specially  enjoining  them  to  entertain 
no  doubts  but  to  set  their  minds  at  rest. 

"  The  Great  God,  the  Heavenly  Father,  the  Supreme  Lord 
in  the  beginning  created,  in  six  days,  heaven  and  earth,  land 
and  sea,  men  and  things ;  from  that  time  till  this,  the  whole 
world  has  been  one  house,  and  all  within  the  four  seas  have 
been  brethren ;  there  can  be  no  difference  between  man  and 
man,  no  distinction  between  high  and  low  born.  But  from 
the  time  that  evil  spirits  entered  into  the  hearts  of  men,  they 
have  not  acknowledged  the  great  grace  of  God,  the  Heavenly 
Father,  in  giving  and  sustaining  life,  neither  have  they  ac- 
knowledged the  great  merit  of  Jesus,  the  Heavenly  Brother, 
in  the  work  of  redemption  ;  and  they  have  caused  lumps  of 

*  This  title  has  no  meaning  in  the  Chinese  language.  The  aeeond  name, 
"  sew,**  of  the  Eastern  Prince  la  composed  of  two  other  characters,  ho  and  nae. 
The  title  probably  refers  to  his  powers  as  a  seer. 


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270  THE  CHINESE  AMD  THEIB  REBELLIOHS. 

day,  wood  and  stone  to  do  strange  things  in  this  w(»ld. 
Hence  it  was  that  the  Tartars,  the  demon  Huns,  succeeded 
in  thieyishly  possessing  themselves  of  onr  Heavenly  comifzy. 

'*  But  happily  the  Heavenly  Father  and  Heavenly  Brother 
have  from  early  times  displayed  divine  manifestations  among 
you  English;  and  yon  have  long  revered  and  worshipped 
Grod,  the  Heavenly  Father,  and  Jesus,  the  Heavenly  Brother^ 
so  that  the  true  doctrine  has  been  preserved,  and  the  gospei 
has  had  its  guardians. 

**  Happily,  now  again,  the  Great  God,  the  Heavenly  Fath^v 
the  Supreme  Lord  has  manifested  His  great  grace.  He  sent 
angels  to  take  the  Heavenly  Prince,  our  Sovereign^  up  into 
Heaven ;  and  there  personally  gave  him  power  to  sweep  swaj 
from  the  thirty-three  heavens  the  evil  spirits,  whom  he 
expelled  from  thence  into  this  nether  world.  Again,  to  our 
great  bliss,  in  the  third  month  of  the  Mow  shin  year  (April, 
1848)  the  Great  God,  the  Heavenly  Father  manifested  Wa 
great  grace  and  compassion  by  descending  on  earth,  and  in 
the  ninth  month  (October)  the  Lord,  the  Saviour  of  the 
world,  the  Heavenly  Brother  also  manifested  His  great  grace 
and  compassion  by  descending  on  earth.  From  that  time, 
for  six  years,  the  Heavenly  Father  and  Heavenly  Brother 
have  largely  directed  our  affairs  and  helped  us  with  a  mighty 
arm,  displaying  numberless  manifestations  and  evidences, 
exterminating  a  vast  number  of  evil  spirits  and  demons  and 
aiding  our  Heavenly  Prince  in  assuming  the  sovereignty  of 
the  world. 

**  Now  since  you  English  have  not  held  vast  distances  too 
far,  but  have  come  to  acknowledge  allegiance  here,  not  only 
are  the  armies  of  our  Heavenly  Dynasty  in  great  delight  and 
joy,  but  in  the  high  heavens  even,  the  Heavenly  Father  and 
Heavenly  Brother  will  also  regard  with  pleasure  this  evidence 
of  your  loyalty*  and  sincerity.  We  therefore  issue  this 
special  decree,  permitting  you  the  English  chief,  with  the 

'  *  The  Chinese  word  is  that  ased  to  mark  the  proper  feeling  of  a  subject 
iowardfl  hiB  Sovereign. 


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FOBEIQN  INTERCOURSE  OF  TAB  PINGS,       271 

>]-etlireii  under  your  superintendence^  constant  ingress  and 
^^Tees  in  full  accordance  with  your  own  inclination  and  wish, 
ii^hether  to  aid  us  in  the  extermination  of  the  demons  *  or  to 
pi:&r8ue  as  usual  your  commercial  avocations.  And  it  is  our 
earnest  hope  that  you  will,  with  us,  achieve  the  merit  of 
diligently  serving  our  Sovereign,  and,  with  us,  repay  the 
goodness  of  the  Father  of  souls. 

**  TVe  now  bestow  upon  you  English  the  new  Books  of 
I>eclaration8  of  the  Tae  ping  dynasty,  in  order  that  the  whole 
ivorld  may  learn  to  revere  and  worship  the  Heavenly  Father 
and  Heavenly  Brother ;  and  also  know  where  the  Heavenly 
Prince  exists,  so  that  all  may  offer  their  congratulations 
Inhere  the  true  commission  (to  rule)  has  fallen. 

**  A  special  decree  for  the  information  of  all  men,  given 
this  twenty-sixth  day  of  the  third  month  of  the  Kwei  haou 
year  (1st  May,  1853,)  of  the  Heavenly  Kingdom  of  Tae 
ping." 

Lae,  the  second  officer  beneath  the  Princes,  followed  the 

above  communication  on  board  of  the  Hermes.    I  have  little 

doubt  that  the  assertion  of  the  universal  supremacy  of  the 

Heavenly  Prince  which  it  contained  was  made  contrary  to 

his  advice.     It  was  to  him  that  I  had,  but  three  days  before, 

distinctly  expounded  the  international  doctrine  of  the  perfect 

equality  of  independent  States  and  their  Sovereigns.    I  had 

shown  him  that  in  point  of  rank  the  Sovereign  of  even  the 

smallest  Christian  State  was  considered  on  an  equality  with 

that  of  the  largest;  and  that  the  idea  of  our  Sovereign,  who 

was  at  the  head  of  one  of  the  most  powerful  States  in  the 

world,  being  in  any  manner  or  respect  beneath  any  Chinese 

Sovereign  was  not  for  a  moment  to  be  entertained,  being  in 

fact  absurd.     I  had  seen  that  in  mind  as  well  as  in  words  he 

had  assented  to  this,  for  him  quite  novel  doctrine ;  and  my 

opinion  was  that  he  came  off  to  the  Hermes  afler  the  above 

'*  Decree,"  in  the  wish  to  soften  the  effect  which  its  reasser- 

•  All  oppoBen  of  Hnng  sew  tseuen's  xnission  are  held  to  boloog  to  the  king- 
dom of  the  devil,  and  are  called  "  demons.' 


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272  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIOKS. 

lion  of  supremacy  was  sure  to  produce.  But  it  was  intimated 
to  him  by  order  of  the  Plenipotentiary,  that  the  contents  d 
the  "Decree"  were  such  as  to  render  further  discusscm 
useless;  that  an  answer  would  be  given  immediately;  and 
that  we  should  leave  at  4  p.m.  He  departed,  and  the  answer 
followed  him  soon  after  by  the  hands  of  a  young  aide-de-camp, 
whom  he  had  left  to  bring  it-     It  was  as  follows : 

"  I  have  received  your  communication,  part  of  which  I  am 
unable  to  understand,  and  especially  that  portion  which 
implies  that  the  English  are  subordinate  to  your  Sovereign. 
Owing  to  its  contents,  I  am  now  compelled  to  renaind  you 
that  my  nation,  by  Treaty  entered  into  with  the  Chinese 
Government,  has  obtained  the  right  of  trading  at  the  fire 
ports  of  Canton,  Foochow,  Amoy,  Ningpo  and  Shanghae; 
and  that  if  you  or  any  other  people  presume  to  injure,  in 
any  manner,  the  persons  or  property  of  British  subjects, 
immediate  steps  will  be  taken  to  resent  the  injury  in  the 
same  manner  as  similar  injuries  were  resented  ten  years  ago, 
resulting  in  the  capture  of  Chin  kiang,  Nanking,  and  the 
neighbouring  cities,  and  in  the  Treaty  of  Peace,  the  condi- 
tions of  which  you  will  have  learnt  from  the  copy  sent  to 
you  the  day  before  yesterday. 

(Signed)  «  S.  G.  Bonhajc" 

Shortly  after  this  letter  was  taken  ashore,  we  saw  one  of 
the  yellow-clothed  Princes  and  another  leader  in  a  yellow 
jacket  and  red  gown  ride  in  great  haste  down  to  the 
river  bank ;  whither,  it  presently  appeared,  they  had  come 
for  [the  purpose  of  urging  on  the  completion  of  a  ditch  and 
stockade  from  the  river  to  the  city  walls  on  the  western  side 
of  their  position.  This  was  the  side  nearest  the  Imperial 
flotilla,  which  the  Hermes  had  visited  the  day  before ;  and 
it  was  plain  that  that  visit,  coupled  with  the  tone  of  our 
letter  of  the  succeeding  morning,  had  led  them  to  apprehend 
a  combined  attack.  The  two  leaders  ascended  the  high 
stern  of  one  of  the  vessels  which  were  lying  with  their  heads 


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POBEIGN  INTERCOURSE  OF  TAE  PINGS.  275 

touching  the  bank ;  and  I  then  with  the  help  of  a  glass  made 
t^hcm  out  to  be  the  Northern  Prince  whom  I  saw  on  the  day 
of  our  arrival,  and  the  Ching  seang,  the  officer  next  in  rank 
to  the  Princes,  whom  we  had  seen  in  the  city.     From  the 
stem  of  the  vessel  they  could  at  once  see  up  the  river,  and 
a.t  the  same  time  get  the  best  view  of  the  men  laboring  at 
tlic  trench  and  stockade  where  these  works  abutted  on  the 
Ijank.     There  were  as  many  men  employed  as  could  get  at 
the  work,  several  of  the  officers  in  their  short  yellow  jackets 
^vith  broad  scarlet  borders  laboring  with  the  spade  or  the 
pile-driver  to  stimulate  the  others.     A  large  state  umbrella 
ivas  held  over  the  head  of  the  Northern  Prince,  who  was 
attended  by  aide-de-camps    and    body  guards  in  scarlet- 
bordered  yeUow  jackets ;  and  this  group  together  with  the 
men  and  officers  laboring  like  ants  at  the  trench  and  stockade 
formed  a  very  peculiar  and  striking  sight. 

The  Hermes  started  at  4  p.m.,  on  the  2nd  May,  anchored 
fur  the  night  some  distance  above  Kwa  chow  and  Chin  keang, 
the  former  of  which  places  we  reached  early  in  the  forenoon 
of  the  3rd.     Before  Lae  left  us  on  the  preceding  day,  I  had 
explained  to  him  that  in  ascending  the  river  the  Hermes^ 
though  fired  upon  several  times,  had  not  returned  the  fire 
because  she  had  appeared  under  suspicious  circumstances; 
but  that  now  aU  parties  having  been  made  fully  aware  of 
the  pacific  nature  of  her  visit,  any  future  firing  at  Chin 
keang  or  other  places  must  be  returned.     "In  reply  he 
stated,  that  no  thought   need  be  taken  on  that  score  as 
communications  had,  since  the  arrival  of  the  vessel,  been 
exchanged  with  Chin  keang,   and  that  the  nature  of  her 
position  to  the  Tae  pings  was  there  well  known.     The  com- 
munications in  question  would  not  appear,  however,  to  have 
been  acted  on  with  sufficient  promptitude  by  publication  to 
the  forces  generally  :  for  on  the  approach  of  the  Hermes  to 
the  stockaded  batteries  erected  to  protect  the  entrance  of 
the  Grand  Canal  at  Kwa  chow  she  was  fired  at ;  and,  so 
far  as  could  be  judged  on  after  inquiry  and  consideration, 

T 


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274  THE  CHIKESE  AND  THEIB  BEBELUONS, 

it  was  done  merely  in  pursuance  of  general  orders  to  resist 
all  attempts  of  other  than  their  own  people  to  pass  tbeir 
lines.  In  every  case  the  attack  could  not  have  been  pre- 
meditated on  the  part  of  the  higher  officers,  as  many  of  ti» 
guns  in  the  stockades  were  not  manned.  Enough  were, 
however,  in  readiness  in  the  first  stockade  and  the  adjoining 
junks  to  enable  them  to  discharge  five  or  six  shots  before 
Capt.  Fishboume's  order  to  load,  and  run  out  the  guns  oooM 
be  carried  into  effect.  The  Hermes  then  began  to  retom 
the  fire,  proceeding  at  the  same  time  slowly  down  the  river, 
carried  by  the  current  and  either  steaming  easily,  or,  occa- 
sionally, with  her  engines  stopped  to  permit  of  a  better  aim 
at  some  more  conspicuous  assailant.  After  passing  the 
stockades  that  lined  the  Kwa  chow  side  of  the  river,  she 
had  to  sustain  a  similar  fire  from  those  on  the  Chin  keang 
side,  distributing  in  return  some  forty  or  fifty  round  shot 
and  a  few  shell ;  after  which  she  anchored  off  Silver  Island, 
about  two  miles  below  the  fortified  heights.  Within  an 
hour  afterward,  a  letter  of  a  civil  and  pacific  character, 
evidently  prepared  some  days  before,  was  brought  down  by 
a  messenger  to  the  bank  opposite  and  sent  on  board  by 
a  fishing  boat.  While  the  answer  to  this  was  being  written, 
a  group  containing  several  yellow-jacketed  leaders  was 
observed  collecting  on  the  bank  and  making  signs  of  a  desire 
to  communicate.  I  was  accordingly  sent  on  shore,  and  found 
it  was  the  rebel  general  Lo  ta  kang,  who  explained  that  the 
fire  had  been  opened  at  Kwa  chow  by  mistake  by  some  new 
troops,  who  were  not  aware  of  our  having  been  in  peaceful 
communication  with  their  Princes  at  Nanking.  He  stated 
that,  on  hearing  the  noise  of  the  firing,  he  had  hurried  down 
from  the  city  of  Chin  keang  to  the  stockades  to  stop  it. 
I  told  him,  as  instructed,  that  Her  Majesty's  Plenipotentiary 
was  still  willing  to  continue  neutral,  but  that  all  acts  of 
aggression  would  be  repelled  by  force,  and  might  compel  the 
British  Government  to  side  with  the  Manchoos.  He  aslced 
why  wc,  who  had  an  old  enmity  with  the  Manchoos,  and 


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POREiaN   INTERCOUESE   OP   TAE   PINGS.  275 

Tvere  on  the  other  hand  brethren  of  his  party^  inasmuch  as 

-we  acknowledge  the  same  God  and  Christ,  did  not  rather 

aid  the  latter.     I  replied  that  it  was  an  established  rule  of 

tlie  British  Goyernment  not  to  interfere  with  the  internal 

struggles  of  foreign  states;  moreover,  that  though  we  had 

been  at  war  with  the  Manchoos,  we  had  concluded  a  treaty 

of  peace  with  them,  and  could  not  therefore  take  arms 

ag£un8t  them  without  breaking  our  plighted  faith.     He  then 

introduced  the  subject  of  opium,  saying  we  ought  not  to  sell 

it.     I  replied  that  it  was  with  the  opium  as  with  the  vessels 

bought  by  the  Manchoo  officials,  the  British  Government 

took  no  cognizance  of  it,  but  left  it  to  the  Chinese  authorities 

to  deal  with  those  found  engaged  in  the  traffic  as  they 

thought  fit.  I  invited  him  to  accompany  me  on  board,  assuring 

him  of  a  safe  landing  whenever  he  pleased,  but  he  declined. 

I  then  asked  for  one  of  their  people  to  come  on  board,  in 

order  to  take  back  a  reply  to  their  letter.     Three  volunteered 

at  once,  cue  of  whom  was  found  to  be  a  Meaoutsze  or  inde* 

pendent  aboriginal  mountaineer  from  Kwei  chow.     He  was 

a  middlesized  young  man,  of  earnest  gesture  and  expression. 

He  spoke  mandarin  purely  but  with  some  effort,  like  a 

foreigner.     He  said  3,000  of  his  people  were  with  the  Tae 

pings,  and  spoke  with  pride  of  the  fact  that  they  had  never 

submitted  to  the  rule  of  the  Manchoos ;  in  proof  whereof  he 

showed  his  long  hair,  not  shortened  by  shaving  from  his 

youth  up.     When  the  letter  was  handed  to  him,  he  promised 

to  bring  an  answer  within  an  hour,  and  kept  his  word  by 

riding  down  with  it  within  that  period  in  a  heavy  rain." 

In  the  preceding  paragraph  it  is  stated,  that  the  first  letter 
received  from  the  Chin  keang  commanders  had  '*  evidently 
been  prepared  some  days  before."  It  had  been  so  prepared  in 
consequence  of  one  of  my  people  having  in  our  Grand  Canal 
excursion  succeeded  in  discovering  two  emissaries  of  the  Tae 
pings  who  had  been  sent  from  Chin  keang  with  a  letter  to  a 
person  in  Soochow.  They  were  pressed  men,  «.  e.  two  of 
the  original  residents  of  Chin  keang  for  whose  faithfulness 

t2 


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276  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  SEBELLIOKS* 

in  discharging  the  duty  and  returning  to  that  city  the  Uycs 
of  their  relatives  there  were  to  stand  security.     That  my 
man  should  have  detected  in  these  two  persons  emissaries  of 
the  '*  long  haired  rebels,''  and  should  have  then,  in  order  to 
gain  their  confidence,  been  the  first  to  disclose  himself  as  an 
agent  of  the  barbarians,  and  all  in  a  part  of  the  ooontry 
filled  with  Imperial  troops,  was  no  slight  proof  of  discern- 
ment and  courage.     These  men  declined  to  be  the  bearers  of 
any  lengthened  communication,  but  they  did  undertake  tjo 
convey  to  the  leaders  at  Chin  keang  a  short  letter  stating  that 
the  British  intended  to  observe  neutrality  in  the  struggle  then 
going  on,  and  that  though  our  steamers  would  probably  sooner 
or  later  ascend  the  Great  River  to  their  positions,  it  would 
only  be  to  make  inquiries,  not  to  assist  the  Imperialbts.     He 
letter  further  pointed  out  how  the  rebel  commanders  could 
enter  into  a  correspondence  with  the  British  authorities  at 
Shanghae  ;  and  requested  if  any  communication  was  sent,  that 
these  two  emissaries  might,  as  known  people,  be  its  bearers 
It  was  at  the  wish  of  the  two  men  themselves  that  this 
request  was  made.     They  were  anxious  to  be  sent  away 
again  from  Clun  keang  at  a^time  when  they  thought  it  likely 
that  that  place  might  be  attacked  and  stormed    by  the 
Imperialists.     We  hod  therefore  no  doubt  that  they  would 
deliver  the  letter,  but  could  not  even  surmise  what  the  result 
would  be,  as  we  then  knew  nothing  of  the  rebel  leaders, 
except  what  is  stated  at  the  close  of  the  preceding  chapter. 
It  would  appear  that  the  request  at  the  end  of  the  letter 
made  the  Tae  pings  regard  the  whole  thing  as  a  ruse  on  the 
part  of  the  two  men  to  get  away  from  the  place.     But  when 
a  British  steamer  did  afterwards  actually  pass  up  without 
returning  the  fire  directed  on  her,  their  story  gained  credence ; 
and  a  letter  was  prepared  in  three  copies,  each  contained  in 
a  handsome  yellow  silk  envelope  carefully  sealed,  and  all  of 
which  were  despatched  on  board  the  Hermes  as  soon  as  it 
was  perceived  that  she  had  anchored  off  Silver  Island. 
I  subjoin  the  substance  of  it  only ;  for,  though  carefully 


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FOREIGN  INTEECOURSE  OF  TAB  PINGS.       277 

X>repared,  it  is  in  a  literary  point  of  view,  somewhat  deficient ; 
&o  nmch  so  that  a  translation  is  less  likely  to  be  infomiiDg 
-to  the  English  reader  than  an  abstract,     Lo  ta  kang,  the 
oommandant  of  Chin  keang,  has  been  mentioned  in  page  152 
aa  originally  a  Triad  Society  rebel  leader,  who  joined  the 
Tae  pings  in  Kwangse.     Though  one  of  their  best  generals, 
And  therefore  placed  in  charge  of  a  position  at  once  so 
exposed  and  so  important  as  Chin  keang,  his  literary  attain- 
ments were  of  the  scantiest ;  and  there  were  in  consequence 
manifest  signs  of  some  confusion  in  the  Chin  keang  secretariat. 
His  letter  commenced  with  the  national  justification  of  the 
rebellion.     The  Divine  Commission  to  rule  had  been  con- 
ferred on  the  Heavenly  Prince  with  the  special  mission  of 
destroying  the  Tartars.     "When  the  Will  of  Heaven  was 
fixed,  it  was  vain  for  man  to  make  opposition ;  and  it  was 
the  duty  of  the  loyal  and  patriotic  to^  exert  themselves  in 
behalf  of  the  Divinely  Appointed.    When  the  affairs  of  the 
Tartars  were  in  a  flourishing  state,  they  had,  contrary  to  the 
wishes  of  the  Chinese,  shown  themselves  opposed  to  the 
[English,  who  had  in  consequence  levied  a  rightful   war 
against  them.     Nevertheless,  these  same  Tartars  were  now, 
when  in  straits,  mean  enough  to  apply  to  their  former  adver- 
saries for  aid ;  and  were  endeavouring  to  make  the  British 
and  Chinese  mutual  enemies*    Mention  was  then  made  of 
some  of  the  British  Commanders  during  hostilities  at  Canton, 
as  if  Lo  ta  kang  had  there  been  acquainted  with  them,  but 
the  phraseology  of  the  letter  is  in  this  portion  of  that  formal 
complimentary   kind    which  must  not  be   taken  literally. 
Reference  was  next  made  to  the  letter  sent  from  the  Grand 
Canal,  to  which  it  was  stated  an  answer  had  been  despatched. 
When  the  Hermes  appeared,  a  few  days  before,  it  was  sup- 
posed that  it  had  come  with  a  rejoinder ;  and  hence  the  fire 
directed  against  her  (by  the  subordinates  in  the  batteries) 
had  been  stopped.     But  as  no  rejoinder  had  been  brought,  it 
was  concluded  that  his  (the  Commandant^s)  reply  had  not 
reached  its  destination.     Hence  another  (the  present)  letter 


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278  THE   CHINESE   AND  THEIR  BEBELLIONS. 

had  been  prepared  for  the  British  Ciyil  and  Military  Autho- 
rities with  the  view  of  cultivating  friendly  relations  witk 
them ;  so  that  they  might  obey  the  will  of  the  Heaveolj 
Father,  and  achieve  the  (dynastic)  merit ''^  of  diligently 
serving  the  True  Sovereign;  who  would  make  no  distinc- 
tions, but  would  reward  all  in  like  manner.  If,  however^  we 
allowed  ourselves  to  be  cheated  by  the  demon  Huns  into 
aiding  them,  then  it  was  hoped  that  we  would  give  a  reply 
distinctly  announcing  such  our  intentions. 

To  this  an  answer  was  sent  by  the  Meaou  tsze,  summarily 
stating  the  circumstances  under  which  the  Hermes  had  fir^t 
passed  up ;  our  notification  of  neutrality  to  the  Princes  at 
Nanking ;  that  we  were  still  disposed  to  preserve  neutrality; 
but  that  all  firing  directed  t^inst  us  would  be  returned. 

General  Lo  ta  kang's  rejoinder  to  this  was  to  the  effect 
that  the  current  reports  about  the  Tartars  having  procured 
our  assistance,  and  the  necessity  of  being  watchful,  had  led 
to  some  new  troops  opening  fire  upon  us  in  misapprehension 
of  the  actual  circumstances  in  our  case ;  but  that  the  true 
circumstances  having  now  been  made  known,  nothing  of  the 
kind  would  again  occur. 

The  tone  of  all  these  letters,  as  well  as  of  the  language 
and  personal  bearing  of  Lo  ta  kang  himself,  was  perfectly 
courteous,  without  being  in  the  slightest  degree  mean.  He 
had,  as  he- himself  told  me,  *^  seen  us  fight  ^'  at  Canton,  but 
his  knowledge  of  the  British,  excepting  as  formidable  adver- 
saries, was  very  limited ;  and,  this  considered,  his  conduct 
was  that  of  a  brave  but  sagacious  and  prudent  man  who  was 
anxious  to  avoid  increasing  the  difficulties  of  his  position. 
The  following  passage,  which  I  translate  from  Guizot'd 
"R^publique  d'Angleterre,"  seems  to  me,  indeed,  to  be 
exceedingly  well  applicable  to  most  of  the  Tae  ping  leaders, 
and  to  this  man  in  particular : 

**  In  the  midst  of  numerous  marks  of  inexperience  and 

*  The  Chinese  word  exprcascs  that  kind  of  merit  which  consists  more 
ei$pecial]y  in  securing  the  rightful  sovereign  in  possession  of  the  Throne. 


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-       FOREIGN  INTEECOUKSE  OP   TAB    PINGS.  279 

some  arrogant  fancies  the  conduct  of  the  republican  leaders 
mn  their  foreign  policy  showed'  as  much  reserve  as  pride^  an 
Intelligent  prudence^  and  the  desire  to  be  at  peace  without, 
iLn  order  not  to  aggravate  the  difficulties  and  burdens  of  their 
gOYernment  within." 

When  the  Meaou  tsze  rode  down  with  the  last  letter,  I 
landed  to  receive  it,  immediately  after  which  the  Hermes 
started  for  Shanghae;  and  so  was  closed  the  first  act  of 
JBiitish  diplomacy  in  our  relations  with  the  Tae  pings. 

I  am  happy  to  think  that,  while  desirous  of  going  further 
even  than  we  did  in  repelling  their  notions  of  universal 
supremacy,  as  not  less  baneful  to  themselves  than  insufferable 
by  us,  I  nevertheless  succeeded,  in  so  far  as  I  was  personally 
concerned,  in  making  a  favourable  impression  on  those  with 
-whom  I  came  into  contact.    It  was,  indeed,  with  me  no 
difficult  task.     Their  claim  of  dynastic  supremacy  was,  in  so 
far  as  we  were  nationally  concerned,  the  only  objectionable 
feature  of  their  policy,  of  which  it  did  not  moreover  appear 
to  me  to  be  an  absolutely  essential  element.    I  felt  that,  if 
met  by  firm  and  reasoning  repudiation  on  our  part,  it  would 
be  given  up  with  their  increase  in  geographical  and  inter- 
national knowledge.     As  to  the  rest,  I  knew  that  the  old 
Chinese,  with  their  scholars  the  Manchoos,  acted  on  the 
historically  formed   conviction  that   the  best  policy  with 
respect  to  powerful  barbarians  was  to  pacify  them,  when 
necessary,  by  granting  them  material  benefits  in  the  way  of 
trade,  &c.  &c. ;  but  always  to  accompany  such  concessions  by 
restrictions,  and  in  particular  by  a  cold,  reserved  dignity  of 
demeanour  intended  to  keep  them  at  a  distance.     I  have  an 
authoritative  Chinese  work  in  my  possession  in  which  this 
policy  is  distinctly  enunciated ;  and  I  had  had,  in  the  course 
of  a  ten  years'  constant  dealing  with  mandarins  of  all  ranks, 
ample  opportunity  to  observe  that  it  was  practically  acted  on, 
with  forethought  and  deliberation.     It  had  long  been  clear 
to  me  that,  in  order  to  obtain  from  the  existing  Chinese 
government  a  more  extended  intercourse  and  i&dditional  corn- 


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280  THE   CHINESE   AND  THEIR  REBELUONS. 

mercial  privileges,  mere  reasoning  on  the  mutual  advantages 
might  prove  unavailing  for  generations,  and  that,  if  obtained 
at  all,  it  would  have  to  be  by  force — by  war  in  one  shape  or 
the  other,  a  method  of  international  action  to  which   the 
British  public  was  wisely  becoming  more  and  more  av^erse. 
But  these  new  Chinese  Christians,  so  far  from  being  likely  to 
apply  to  U8  the  historically  established  national  policy  towards 
'^  barbarians,"  had  not  only  formally  ceased  to  call  us  by  that 
name,  but  were,  in  the  very  books  in  which  they  asserted 
their  right  to  the  sovereignty  of  the  country,  pointing  to  us 
as  the   preservers  of  the  highest  truths  throughout  long' 
centuries,  during  which  the  Chinese  had  been  the  victims  of 
blinded    religious    ignorance.     And    they    were    moreover 
earnestly  inculcating,  as  one  of  their  fundamental  doctrines, 
the  perfect  equality  of  all  human  beings  as  children  of  the 
"  Father  of  Souls ;"  and  were  distinctly  deducing  from  that 
doctrine  the  practical  duty,  to  which  it  so  obviously  pointe, 
of  liberal  dealing  and  free  intercourse  among  all  those  nations 
who  as  children  and  worshippers  of  the  One  True  €rod  bad 
become  spiritual  "brethren.*'    I  saw,  therefore,  that  if  these 
people  succeeded  in  their  difficult  enterprise  of  establishing 
themselves  in  the  sovereignty  of  the  country,  the  few  pre- 
judices which  might  cling  to  the  present  generation  in  spite 
of  themselves  must  eventually  disappear  before  such  deep-> 
seated  principles  of  assimilation ;  and  that,  with  their  success, 
a  totally  unhoped-for  prospect  would  open  to  us  of  obtaining, 
by  purely  amicable  means,  complete  freedom  of  commercial 
action  throughout  the  whole  of  the  Chinese  Empire ;  provided 
always  we  did  not  in  the  meantime  give  them  just  ground  of 
mortal  offence  when  struggling  with  the  dangers  of  their 
early  career. 

The  possibility  of  establishing  durable  friendly  relations 
and  a  free  and  mutually  advantageous  intercourse  with  China, 
through  the  medium  of  these  new  Chinese  Christians,  had 
struck  my  mind  so  forcibly  before  my  interview  with  the 
Northern  Prince  closed,  that  I  spoke  to  him  in  a  way  and  with 


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rOEEIGN   INTEECOUESE  OF  TAE   PIKGS.  281 

an  earnestness  in  which  I  shall  probably  never  speak  to  any 

person  during  the  remainder  of  my  life — all  with  the  view  of 

creating  a  favourable  first  impression,  and  of  preventing  an 

opportunity,  such  as  might  never  again  occur,  from  passing 

unused.     The  official  report,  given  above,  of  our  conversation 

contains  merely  the  diplomatic  facts.     It  was  originally  my 

intention  to  have  added  aU  that  I  remember  of  what  passed ; 

but   as   the  rebel  "  Prince  "  may  yet  be  an  acknowledged 

Imperial  Prince  of  the  Chinese  Empire  I  think  it  best  to 

preserve  silence.     He  had  never  spoken  with  an  Occidental 

foreigner  till  he  saw  me,  and  it  was  clear,  from  his  own 

language  and  demeanour,  that  when  I  left  he  was  not  disposed 

to  think  unfavourably  of  us.    With  Lae  also  I  parted  good 

friends*     While  it  was  evident  from  the  manner  of  several 

of  his  colleagues,  that  they  were  desirous  of  keeping  on  0Qod 

terms  with  us  only  out  of  policy,  I  am  much  indipea  io 

believe  that  Lae  was,  as  one  of  the  first  Kwangse  Converts' 

of  Fung  yun  san  and  a  devoted  member  of  the  nej¥  Christikn 

community,  actuated  by  a  genuine  sympathy  for  his  "  foireign 

brethren.**    It  was  he  whom  I  particularized^  at  th3  time  in 

the  following  passage,*  descriptive  of  the  old^Tae  pings 

generally: — 

"  Their  moral  code,  the  Rebels  call  the  '  Heavenly  Rules ; ' 
which  on  examination  proved  to  be  the  T^n  Commandments. 
The  observance  of  these  is  strictly  enforced  by  the  leaders 
of  the  movement,  chiefly  Kwang  tung  and  Kwang  se  men, 
who  are  not  merely  formal  professors  of  a  religious  system, 
but  practical  and  spiritual  Christians,  deeply  influenced  by 
the  belief  that  God  is  always  with  them.  The  hardships 
they  have  suffered,  and  the  dangers  they  have  incurred,  are 
punishments  and  trials  of  their  Heavenly  Father;  the  suc- 
cesses they  have  achieved,  are  instances  of  His  Grace.  In 
conversation  they  *  bore '  the  more  worldly  minded  by  con- 
stant recurrence  to  that  special  attention  of  the  Almighty 
of  which  they  believe  themselves  to  be  the  objects.  With 
*  An  extract  from  my  contributions  to  the  "  North  China  Herald." 


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282  THE  CHINESE  AND   THEIB  BEBELLIOKS. 

proud  hamility  and  with  the  glistening  eyes  of  gratitude,  the; 
point  back  to  the  fact  that  at  the  beginning  of  their  enter- 
prise some  four  years  ago,  they  numbered  bat  one  or  two 
hundred,  and  that,  except  for  the  direct  help  of  their 
Heavenly  Father,  they  never  could  have  done  "what  they 
have  done. 

"*They,'  said  one,  speaking  of  the  Imperialists^  *  spread 
all  kinds  of  lies  about  us.     They  say  we  employ  magical 
arts :  the  only  kind  of  magic  we  have  used  is  prayer  to  God. 
In  Kwang  se,  when  we  occupied  Yung  Gan,  we  were  sorely 
pressed :  there  was  then  only  some  two  or  three  thousand  of 
us.     We  were  beset  on  all  sides  by  much  greater  numbers ; 
we  had  no  powder  left  and  our  provisions  were  all  done. 
But  our  Heavenly  Father  came  down  and  showed  iis  the 
way  to  break  out.     So  we  put  our  wives  and  children  in  the 
middle,  and  not  only  forced  a  passage  but  completely  beat 
our  enemies.'     After  a  short  pause  he  added — *  If  it  be  the 
will  of  God  that  our  Tae  ping  Prince  shall  be  the  Sovereign 
of  China  he  will  be  the  Sovereign  of  China.    If  not,  then 
we  will  die  here.' 

**  The  man  who  used  this  language  of  courageous  fidelity 
to  the  cause  in  every  extreme,  and  of  confidence  in  God,  was 
a  shrivelled  up,  elderly,  little  individual,  who  made  an  odd 
figure  in  his  yellow  and  red  hood.  But  he  could  think  the 
thoughts  and  speak  the  speech  of  a  hero.  He  and  others 
like  him  have  succeeded  in  infusing  their  own  sentiments  of 
courage  and  morality  to  no  slight  extent,  considering  the 
materials  operated  upon,  into  the  minds  of  their  adherents." 

Lae  was  the  first  leader  of  rank  who  came  on  board  the 
HermeSy  and  the  highest  who  did  come  on  board.  The 
courage  and  devotion  which  this  act  implied  may  not  be 
at  once  apparent  to  the  English  reader.  But  it  must  be 
remembered  that  the  proclamations  of  the  Imperialists  had 
announced  the  approach  of  foreign  steamers  to  help  them ; 
also  that  the  Tae  pings  had,  in  their  ignorance  of  foreigners, 
no  means  whatever  of  judging  that  the  Hemies  was  not  such 


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FOREIGN  INTERCOURSE   OF   TAE   PINGS.  283 

a  steamer,  which  had  come  to  Nanking  under  false  pretences 

in  order  to  entrap  their  chiefs  on  board  and  take  them  off  for 

Bale  to  tlie  Imperialists,  who  would  have  paid  very  highly  for 

8otne   of  them.     All  this  must  have  been  on  Lae's  mind; 

nevertheless  he  came  off  to  us  with  no  better  guarantee  of 

safety  than  the  assurances  of  my  clerk  Change  which  I  believe 

the  latter  volunteered,  Lae  not  having  himself  descended  to 

enquiries  about  the  matter.     Shortly  before  he  left  us,  after 

OUT  receipt  of  the  unfortunate  yellow   silk   "  Decree/'   I 

presented  him  with  a  telescope.     The  eagerness  with  which 

he,  on  getting  it,  at  once  broke  off  the  discussion  in  which  we 

were  engaged,  and  hastened  on  deck  to  acquaint  himself  with 

itsnses^  showed  the  value  he  set  upon  the  instrument.   There 

was  not  another  in  the  possession  of  the  Tae  pings,  he  said ; 

and,  when  the  reader  bears  in  mind  the  important  part  that 

telescopes  play  in  military  operations,  he  will  see  the  great 

practical  value  of  my  gift  apart  from  its  symbolical  quality  as 

an  expression  of  goodwill. 

Exactly  one  month  afler  the  above  narrated  occurrences^ 

Dr.  Taylor,  an  American  medical  missionary,  ascended  the 

river  in  a  China  boat  till  within  two  miles  of  Chin  keang 

when,  his  men  refusing  to  go  farther,  he  landed  and  walked 

up  to  the  position  of  the  Tae  pings ;  by  whom  he  was  well 

received.     He  remained  with  them  three  days,  during  which 

he  was  entertained  at  the  residence  of  the  Commandant 

Lo  ta  kang.     He  took  with  him  some  Christian  publications 

together  with  a  stock  of  medicines,  and  treated  many  of  the 

garrision  medically  and  surgically.  Unfortunately  Dr.  Taylor 

spoke  only  the  Shanghae  patois,  while  Lo  ta  kang  and  the 

other  Kwang  tung  and  Kwang  se  men  speak  the  dialect  of 

these  two  provinces  and  the  mandarin.   He  was  therefore  not 

able  to  get  so  much  information  as  his  bold  visit  and  good 

offices  would  otherwise  have  enabled  him  to  procure.     The 

following  extract  from  his  narrative  in  the  "North  China 

Herald  "  contains  the  most  interesting  circumstances  observed 

by  him : — 


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284  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  BEBELLIOKS. 

'^  We  understand  our  friend  was  present  at  their  woidiip. 
which  he  describes  as  consisting  of  chaunting  hymns  and 
doxologies  in  a  very  solemn  manner  whilst  those  engaged  in 
it  remained  seated.    After  that,  all  kneeled  apparently  with 
much  reverence,  closing  their  eyes  while  one  of  their  number 
uttered  an  audible  prayer.    Their  chaunting  was    aoooiii- 
panied  with  the  usual  dissonant  instruments  employed  by 
Chinese  at   their  festivals.     These  acts  of  worship    were 
repeated  twice  or  thrice  a  day>  and  included  in  them  grnoe 
before  meat ;  and  immediately  afterwards,  they  proceeded  to 
the  tables  without  further  ceremony*    Doctor  Taylor  aavr  ao 
females,  and  on  enquiry  was  informed  they  were  all  at  !Nan- 
king.     He  saw  tables  placed  with  bowls  of  various  Idndff  of 
food,  as  offerings  to  the  Supreme  Being ;  among  which  were 
three  bowls  of  tea,  one  for  each  person  of  the  Trinity.     He 
was  struck  with  the  calm  and  earnest  enthusiasm  that  per- 
vaded the  entire  body,  and  the  perfect  confidence  evinced  m 
the  justice  of  their  cause  and  its  final  success." 

During  this  period  the  Shanghae  Intendant  Woo  did  Dot 
relax  his  endeavours  to  mmntain  a  squadron  of  square  rigged 
vessels  manned  by  Occidentals,  in  addition  to  twelve  or  fifteen 
Macao  lorchas,  to  aid  the  Imperial  Chinese  fleet  in  blockading 
Chin  keang ;  and,  in  consequence  of  the  high  wages  ofifered, 
seamen  deserted  from  the  men-of-war  as  well  as  from  the 
merchantmen  lying  at  Shanghae.  As  one  means  of  putting 
a  stop  to  this  evil,  Capt.  Fishboume  determined  to  send  an 
officer  with  a  party  of  seamen  and  marines  up  to  the  Imperial 
fleet  in  order  to  search  it  for  certain  deserters ;  and  as  this 
formed  an  excellent  opportunity  for  getting  some  direct  and 
reliable  information  respecting  the  state  of  affairs,  my  ofiicial 
chief  Mr.  Alcock  detached  me  with  the  party  for  that  purpose. 

We  started  in  four  boats,  in  one  of  which  was  myself,  with 
my  body  servant  and  cook  aft ;  in  another,  my  two  clerks 
Chang  and  Fang ;  in  the  third,  a  lieutenant,  Mr.  Spratt,  and 
a  midshipman,  Mr.  Williams,  of  the  Hermes^  with  a  ship's 
boy,  Spratt's  servaot ;  and  in  the  fourth,  four  marine  artil- 


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FOREIGN    INTERCOUBSE   OF  TAE   PINGS.  285 

srymexi  and  two  seamen.     With  the  details  connected  with 
bese  latter  I  had  of  course  nothing  to  do ;  but  the  general 
ommand  of  the   expedition  was  officially  allotted  to  me* 
rbis   circumstance,  together  with  the  fact  of  the  boats  being 
ill    navigated  hj  Chinese,  but  by  Chinese  who  had  never 
been  up  the  Great  Biver^  made  me  virtual  Commodore  of  a 
small  squadron  on  the  way  to  Chin  keang  and  back,  in  addi- 
tion to  my  proper  function  of  international  agent  in  dealing 
\vith  the  Tae  ping  and  Imperialist  commanders  in  and  around 
Chin  keang.     With  the  exception  of  one  dark  night,  during 
vf hich  I  was  anxious  to  get  to  the  district  city  of  Keang  yin^ 
and  in  which  by  the  help  of  a  pocket  compass  and  a  chart  that 
1  hsid  taken  with  me,  I  did  guide  our  squadron  into  the 
affluent  on  which  it  lies,  we  always  anchored  at  night.    In 
the  day  time,  my  real  business  being  to  obtain  information, 
I  always  stopped  when  there  was  a  town  or  city  to  visit  or 
when,  as  we  approached  Chin  keang,  there  was  a  hill  com- 
manding a  good  prospect.     The  expedition  lasted  in  this  way 
for  fourteen  days,  several  of  which  were  spent  at  and  near 
Chin  keang,  chiefly  at  the  temple  wharf  on  the  southern 
side  of  the  picturesque  Silver  Island.     This  was    strictly 
speaking  within  the  Imperialist  lines,  for  on  the  northern 
side  of  the  island  lay  the  seventy  Imperialist  vessels   one 
astern  of  the  other,  the  Macao  lorchas  being  nearest  the  Tae 
pings ;  but  the  river  between  us  and  the  latter  was  quite 
clear. 

Silver  Island  lies  at  a  point  in  the  Great  Biver  where  the 
latter  describes  nearly  a  right  angle.  Straight  westward, 
about  two  miles  above  Silver  Island,  lies  Chin  keang ;  straight 
southward,  about  three  miles  below  Silver  Island,  lies  the  town 
of  Tan  too,  at  a  point  where  the  Grand  Canal  comes  so  close 
to  the  Great  Biver  that  a  passage  of  only  three  quarters  of 
a  mile  in  length  joins  the  two.  From  this  place  the  Grand 
Canal  goes  off  in  a  north-westerly  direction  to  Chin  keang, 
forming  with  the  passage  just  named  an  irregular  hypothe- 
nuse,  some  four  miles  in  length,  to  the  right  angle  described 


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286  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  REBELLIONS. 

by  the  Biver.  Across  this  hypothenuse  tbe  Imperialist  camp 
were  established,  within  long  gun  shot  of  Chin  keang.  Ti^ 
thus  commanded  the  Grand  Canal,  as  the  fleet  at  Slr^ 
Island  commanded  the  Great  Biver.  It  was  at  the  pc»iit 
where  the  Biver  was  joined  by  the  Tan  too  passage  that  tLe 
chief  civilian  having  the  general  charge  of  the  bemegix^ 
operations,  and  his  suite,  lay  in  some  half  dozen  large  mer 
travelling  vessels.  Whether  the  Tae  pings  broke  out  hj 
land  or  by  the  Biver,  he  had  in  each  case  ample  time  to  slip 
cable  and  fly  down  with  the  rapid  stream  of  the  latter,  h 
the  day  time  he  sailed  occasionally  up  to  the  fleet,  but  at 
night  always  returned  to  his  safe  position.  He  was  a  Mas- 
choo,  one  of  the  most  polished  and  cultivated  I  ever  met. 
His  name  was  Lin;  he  was  then  Superintendent  of  Finances, 
but  he  had  formerly  been  Intendant  at  Shangfaae,  and  I 
knew  him  well. 

At  the  time  we  left  Shanghae,  a  fifth  boat,  containing  an 
unattached  or  expectant  Chinese  civilian.  Hoc,  started  also 
and  partly  kept  company  with  us.    This  mandarin,  Hoo,  bad 
been  deputed  by  the  Intendant  to  communicate  with  Super- 
intendent Lin,  and  insure  our  being  allowed  to  search  the 
fleet ;  without  which  there  was  likely  to  be  serious  trouble 
with  the  British  ofiicers  at  Shanghae.  I  had  not  the  remotest 
hope  of  finding  the  missing  men ;  because,  if  actually  with 
the  fleet,  there  was  nothing  to  prevent  them  sitting  hidden 
among  the  tall  water-reeds  on  the  bank,  where  they  could 
laugh  in  safety  at  our  formal  search ;  but  I  knew  that  the 
trouble  to  which  that  operation  would  put  the  mandarins, 
joined  to  their  uncertainty  as  to  what  odd  thing  the  barba- 
rians would  neo^t  do,  if  desertion  increased,  would  form  our 
best  guarantee  for  their  not  enticing  any  men  away.    The 
following  narrative  of  our  doings  is  almost  altogether  com- 
piled from  my  boat  journal  and  my  ofiicial  report  of  the 
expedition. 

At  about  4  P.M.  on  the  29th  June,  our  flotilla  moored  at 
Silver  Island  quay.    The  place  being  now  commanded  by 


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FOREIGN  INTEBCOUESE  OP  TAE  PINOS,  287 

the  ImperialistSy  we  found  more  of  the  priests  here  than 

^when  vre  passed  in  the  Hermes  two  months  before ;  but  none 

of  the  idols  had  been  replaced,  and  in  the  interior  the  temples 

had  their  former  desolate  look.    With  one  of  the  priests 

I  had  a  good  deal  of  conversation,  during  our  three  days* 

stay,  about  Buddhism,  the  Tae  ping  Christians,  and  the  state 

of  the  country.    He  was  a  very  well  educated  man  who, 

being  tired  of  the  world,  had  withdrawn  from  a  respectable 

position  in  it,  to  end  his  days  in  quiet  in  the  monastery 

here. 

On  this,  the  day  of  our  arrival,  I  did  not  in  passing  Tan  too 
call  on  Superintendent  Lin,     I  left  it  to  the  mandarin  Hoo 
to  settle  about  the  search.    At  seven  o'clock  Hoo  joined  us; 
and  it  was  arranged  that  after  our  breakfast  the  next  morn- 
ing, we  should  go  in  our  boats  to  the  vessel  of  Admiral  Le, 
in  the  fleet  on  the  other  side  of  the  island*  Earlier  than  that, 
Hoo  said  he  would  not  be  out  of  bed.  Hoo  at  first  wanted  me 
to  go  round  and  lie  astern  of  the  Admiral's  vessel  till  he  was 
visible.    This  I  politely  declined  doing,  without  stating  my 
reason,  which  was  that  it  would  have  put  us,  who  as  strangers 
were  entitled  to  immediate  reception,  in  the  position  of 
humble  waiters  upon  a  great  man  before  the  whole  fleet. 
This  was  in  reality  what  Hoo  wanted ;  and  the  reader  sees 
here  an  example  of  the  little  plans  we  have  perpetually  to 
guard  against  in  Anglo-Chinese  official  life. 

On  the  following  morning  at  daylight,  I  took  my  own  boat 
to  the  southern  bank  of  the  river,  landed  and  followed  the 
road  which  leads  round  the  back  of  the  Seang  Hill*  I  passed 
through  a  long  village  until  I  came  to  the  ridge  of  which 
that  hill  is  the  extreme  point,  I  then  ascended  by  the  crest 
of  this  ridge  till  I  reached  the  conical  knoll  at  the  south-west 
extremity  of  the  Seang  Hill,  where  I  had  the  Imperialist 
campa  on  my  left,  the  Imperialist  fleet  on  my  right — together 
with  the  walls  of  Chin  keang  in  front  of  me,  all  in  view. 
I  remained  there  about  an  hour,  observing  all  through  my 
glass.    There  was  a  constant  exchange  of  shots  going  on 


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288  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIfi  EEBEIXIOKS. 

between  some  guns  that  the  Tae  pings  had  mounted  on  the 
south-eastern  angle  of  the  city  walls,  and  a  battery  that  the 
Imperialists  had  established  at  an  angle  of  their  most  adviuiced 
camp.    I  heard  also  a  good  deal  of  firing  going  on  at  ll^ 
south- western  side  of  the  city,  but  only  the  smoke  was  visible 
from  the  hill  on  which  I  stood.     From  the  same  spot,  I  had 
a  view  of  the  Tae  ping  position  at  Kwa  chow  about  four 
miles  up  the  river;  and  could  just  make  out,  over  the  inter- 
vening alluvial  land,  the  yellow  banners  of  the  Tae  pings 
planted  along  the  walls  of  Yang  chow,  some  eight  or  ten 
miles  to  the  north.     My  more  immediate  object  was  to  see 
what  difficulties  lay  in  the  way  of  my  walking  into  Chin  keang, 
in  case  I  was  prevented  from  going  up  in  my  boat.     The 
Imperial  battery  which  was  firing  on  the  south-eastern  angle 
of  the  city,  was  on  ground  as  high  as  that  on  which  the  city 
walls  stood.     But  from  this  battery  northward  to  the  river, 
a  dbtance  of  about  two  miles,  the  ground  sank  into  an 
alluvial  flat,  while  the  walls,  on  the  contrary,  ran  along  a 
ridge  of  one  or  two  hundred  feet  high  at  the  back  of  that  flat 
The  city  wall  stopped  short  on  this  ridge  where  the  latter  sank 
suddenly  at  about  three  quarters  of  a  mile  from  the  river. 
The  wall  there  turned  ofl*  westward,  keeping,  in  an  irregular 
manner,  parallel  to  the  river  at  half  to  three  quarters  of 
a  mile  from  it.    But  the  ridge  continued,  and  (afler  its 
aforenoted  depression)  with  a  const&ntly  increasing  elevation, 
till  it  abutted  on  the  river  as  a  promontory  of  some  three 
hundred  feet  in  height.     This  is  called  the  Pih  koo  Hill. 
There  is  a  temple,  an  iron  pagoda  of  forty  to  fifty  feet  in 
height,  and  an  open  pavilion  or  dome  supported  by  four 
granite  pillars  on  this  hill.     This  latter  building  stands  just 
over  the  river.    It  was  here  that  the  three  observers  stood 
who  watched  the  battle  described  at  page  209  between  the 
Imperialist  and  Tae  ping  fleets;  it  was  here  that  the  Tae 
ping  Commandant  Lo  ta  kang  posted  himself  when  the 
mercenary  Portuguese  and  Anglo- American  Imperialist  fleet 
followed  the  Hermea  and  attacked  the  rebel  position  as 


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FOEBiaN  INTEBCOUBSE  OF  TAB  PINGS.  289 

xiarrated  at  page  254,  and  It  was  at  the  foot  of  this  promontory 
^hat  exactly  ten  years  before  the  period  when  I  viewed 
-the  whole  scene,  the  column  of  General  Schoedde  landed 
xinopposed  and  marched  to  the  north  eastern  angle  of  the  city, 
Tvhere  it  effected  an  escalade.     It  was  characteristic  of  the 
military  strategy  of  the  Manchoos,  originally  nomadic  horse- 
men, when  they  settled  a  garrison  of  their  own  countrymen 
at  Chin  keang,  and  thus  constituted  that  city  one  of  their 
special  fortresses,  that  they  should  not  connect  the  fortifica* 
tions  with  the  river  bank,  but  allow  an  open  space  of  some 
three  quarters  of  a  mile  to  intervene  between  the  northern 
front  of  the  wall  and  the  strand.*  This  space  is,  immediately 
to  the  west  of  the  narrow  Pih  koo  Hill  ridge,  low  and  level. 
It  was  equally  characteristic  of  the  Tae  ping  leaders,  as 
natives  of  South  Eastern  China  accustomed  from  youth  to 
river  or  coasting  navigation,  that  they  should,  as  soon  as  Chin 
keang  fell  into  their  hands,  run  a  stockade  along  the  ridge 
from  the  north  eastern  angle  of  the  wall  to  Pih  koo  shan 
promontory,  and  constitute  the  latter  one  of  their  chief  works 
of  defence.   A  similar  stockade  ran  along  the  low  river  bank 
on  the  west  of  the  Pih  koo  shan,  to  prevent  the  landing  of 
a  hostile  force ;  and  then  back  to  the  city  wall  again.     So 
energetic  were  the  Tae  pings  in  these  works,  that  when  the 
Hermes  passed  up  some  three  weeks  after  they  had  occupied 
Chin  keang  they  were  finished.  They  used  for  the  purpose  the 
doors  and  window-shutters  of  the  houses  in  the  city ;  which 
had  been  deserted  on  their  approach.    Not  content  with  this, 

*  At  each  of  the  four  cities  garnBoned  by  Manchoo  bannermen  which  I  have 
Tisited,  Tiz.  Kwang  chow,  Chapoo,  Chin  keang,  and  Nanking,  not  only  does 
there  intervene  an  nnwalled  spaoe  between  the  water  and  the  city  walle,  but 
the  ''Tartar  city,"  or  Manchoo  citadel,  occupies  in  each  case  the  portion  of  the 
whole  wailed  space  which  lies  ftrthest  from  the  riyer  and  nearest  the  open  dry 
coantry.  Something  of  the  same  kind  I  remarked  in  Egypt,  whei^  the  present 
Cairo,  the  Cairo  of  the  nomadic  Arab  Caliphs  is  a  considerable  distance  (more 
than  a  mile,  so  fiur  as  I  recollect)  back  from  the  Kile,  while  the  citadel  occapiea 
the  most  distant  point,  being  in  fiust  within  the  verge  of  the  sandy  desert.  The 
old  Cairo  of  the  Greeks,  Bomans,  and  native  Egyptians  lay  immediately  on  the 
banks  of  the  river. 


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290  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  BEBELLIOKS. 

BO  BOOH  as  all  the  more  urgentlj  required  works  of  defence 
were  finished,  they  commenced  replacing  the  stockade  aloi^ 
the  Pih  koo  Hill  ridge  by  a  high  and  substantial  wall,  for 
which  the  walls  of  the  deserted  dwellings  of  the  city  fumLshed 
them  with  abundance  of  materiaL     At  the  very  time  when 
I  was  taking  my  view  from  the  Seang  Hill^  their   early 
labourers  were  engaged  in  completing  the  top  portion  of  the 
new  wall  along  the  face  of  the  promontory;  that  is  to  say, 
they  had  just  about  finished  extending  the  city  wall  to  the 
river,  in  the  face  of  a  besieging  Imperialist  force  from  four  to 
five  times  the  strength  of  their  garrison.     I  could  see   the 
bricklayers  on  ladders  and  scaffolds  trowelling  away  on  the 
outside,  and  occasionally  turning  their  heads  to  take  a  look 
at  the  Imperialist  fleet  or  camps,  lazily  scratching  themselves 
while  so  doing*   The  above-mentioned  alluvial  flat  lay  on  the 
east  of  the  ridge  on  which  this  new  wall  had  been  built,  and 
was  commanded  by  the  city  guns,  by  the  camps,  and  by  the 
fleet.     One  of  the  most  curious  sights  in  the  scene  before 
me  was,  consequently,  that  of  some  half  dozen  countrymen 
working  in  the  rice  fields  into  which  it  was  divided,  as  quietly 
as  if  in  a  land  of  perfect  peace.     The  top  of  the  artificial 
embankment  which  separated  the  Great  River  from  this  low 
ground,  formed  a  good  path  up  to  the  Pih  koo  Hill;  which 
I  could  observe  nothing  to  prevent  my  following  if  it  should 
be  necessary,  though  the  Imperialists  might  have  a  scout  or 
two  concealed  among  the  reeds,  that  rose  to  the  height  of 
seven  feet  on  both  sides  of  it     Having  ascertained  this, 
I  descended  the  knoll,  and  was  soon  surrounded  by  a  number 
of  the  rustics,  young  and  old,  from  the  village  I  had  previously 
passed.    When  I  had  told  them  that  I  was  a  neutral  and  had 
been  in  the  foreign  steamer  that  ascended  the  river  two 
months  before,  they  talked  about  both  of  the  contending 
parties  with  great  frankness.    After  the  Tae  pings  entered 
Chin  keang  a  body  of  them  came  to  this  village  and  took 
away  all  articles  of  gold  and  silver  that  they  could  see,  but 
did  not  interfere  with  the  women,  and  destroyed  nothing. 


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FOKEIGN  INTEECOUESE  OP  TAE  PINGS.  291 

I  saw  the  Tvornen  sitting  at  the  doors  of  their  houses  at  work, 
as    if   no    "war  were  near.     Whether  or  not  the  Tae  ping 
higher  officers  knew  of  the  gold  and  silver — chiefly  female 
ornaments — haying  been  taken  awaj,  the  villagers  could  not 
say.      These  latter  had  not  been  compelled  to  let  the  hair 
grow   over  their  heads.     The   Tae  pings  of  Chin  keang, 
knowing  that  they  could  not  hold  this  village^  had  not  ordered 
the  inhabitants  to  do  what  was  certain  to  compromise  them 
with  the  Imperialists.     The   Buddhist  monks  were   special 
priests  of  the  **  denwns,"  and  the  God-worshippers  cared  little 
whether  they  were  compromised  or  not ;  but  the  above,  with 
a  number  of  other  circumstances  ascertained  at  Nanking, 
convince  me  that  it  is  the  policy  of  the  Tae  pings  to  abstain 
as  much  as  possible  from  extending  their  system  of  conscrip- 
tion, or  the  usual  hardships  of  war,  to  the  food  producing 
classes.     They  command  the  personal  services  of  all  in- 
habitants of  cities,  whether  men  of  wealth  or  tradesmen,  and 
&eize  unhesitatingly  the  whole  of  their  property,  and  they 
also  press  the  produce  carriers^  the  river  boatmen.     But, 
while  they  take  possession  of  government  corn  stores  as  theirs 
by  right,  and  probably  do  not  spare  the  stores  of  large  com 
merchants  in  the  towns  they  enter,  it  is  certain  that  they 
purchase  from  t|jie/arf?ier*,  and  make  a  point  of  giving  liberal 
prices.     The  consequence  is,  that  whenever  the  country 
people  could  find  an  opportunity  of  slipping  unobserved  into 
Chin  keang  with  com  or  vegetables  they  never  failed  to  do 
so.    The  people  of  this  village  told  me  that  the  Imperialists 
by  whom  the  city  was  invested  subjected  them  to  far  more 
annoyance  than  the  Tae  pings  had  done ;  but  they  spoke  in 
very  high  terms  of  my  old  acquaintance,  the  Manchoo  Lin,  as 
a  commander  who  listened  courteously  to  the  complaints  of 
the  country  people,  and  endeavoured  to  prevent  excesses 
of  the  soldiery.    When  I  questioned  them  about  the  new 
religion  they  made  reproaches,  in  a  very  serious  tone,  against 
the  Tae  pings  for  having  "  sha,  killed,"  one  particular  idol-god 
on  Silver  Island  whose  name  I  regret  not  having  entered  in 

IT  2 


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292  TBE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS* 

my  journaL  The  destruction  of  the  others  was  not  after  all 
a  matter  of  great  consequence,  but  their  *^  having  shsL  ta, 
killed  him/'  was  a  proof  of  a  very  bad  heart. 

After  I  had  rejoined  my  party  at  Silver  Island,  and  mre  bad 
breakfasted,  we  set  off  for  the  vessel  of  Admiral  Le.   As  I  ran 
along  side  of  it,  Supt.  Lin  stepped  into  a  small  boat  in  order 
to  return  to  his  own  vessel  after  a  visit  to  the  Admiral, 
doubtless  about  our  own  affair.     I  sent  my  Chinese  card  to 
him,  upon  which,  the  little  boat  he  was  in  being  too  small  for 
a  reception,  he  at  once  stepped  into  mine  with  all  the  old 
ready  courtesy  and  frankness  of  manner  that  had  made  him, 
when  he  was  Intendant  at  Shanghae,  personally  so  agreeable 
to  foreigners.   On  the  present  occasion  he  immediately  began 
inquiring  about  all  those  he  had  known.     That  over,  he 
adverted,  with  a  half  melancholy  smile  and  shaking  his  head, 
to  the  extraordinary  circumstances  under  which  we  had  again 
met.   He  then  uttered  some  friendly  and  regretful  reproaches 
because  we  had  not  helped  his  party,  and  had,  on  the  contrar^v 
entered  into  amicable  relations  with  his  enemies.     I  seized 
the  opportunity  of  explaining  our  proper  position  at  length 
to  a  Manchoo  of  high  standing  who  was  certain  to  be  in 
private^  frank  correspondence  with  influential  people  at  Court, 
and  whom  I  knew  to  be  a  man  of  more  t^an  sufficient  in- 
telligence and  cultivation  to  comprehend  and  report  exactly 
what  I  stated.    I  expounded  our  doctrine  of  non-intervention 
in  the  internal  affairs  of  foreign  states  as  one  which  was 
constantly  acquiring  a  greater  practical  acceptance  in  the 
West.    I  illustrated  the  doctrine  by  the  attitude  of  England 
towards  France,  the  general  facts  of  which  were  known  to  him. 
There  a  dynastic  change  had  taken  place  similar  to  those 
common  to  Chinese  history.     Misgovemment  under  the  old 
French  dynasty  had  reduced  the  people  to  such  misery  that 
they  rebelled  and  destroyed  it.     After  a  period  of  great 
anarchy,  one  of  the  sons  of  a  small  landed  proprietor  in  a 
remote  province  had  made  himself  Emperor.     He  had  been 
unseated,  and  the  old  family  restored ;  but  this,  having  been 


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FOREIGN  INTERCOURSE  OF  TAE  PINGS.  293 

done  by  foreign  interyentlon  proved  a  temporary  and  futile 
measure.      The  French  had  driven  one  sovereign  away,  and 
put  in  his  place  another  of  the  same  family;  and  this  time 
no  foreign  state  interfered.     But  in  1848  they  expelled  the 
family  altogether  (at  mention  of  which  Lin  nodded  assent  as 
to  a  fact  known  to  him  at  the  time),  and  tried  to  govern 
themselves  as  the  Americans  did,  without  a  sovereign,  but 
only  a  sort  of  Governor  General  of  the  whole  country,  elected 
every    four   years.      This  was  the  best  way  of  expressing 
**  republican  government "  to  Lin,  who  knew  about  America 
from  the  Americans.     But  they  elected  for  Governor  General 
the  nephew  of  him  who  had  been  driven  away  by  foreign 
interference ;  and  this  nephew,  the  *^  feelings  of  the  common 
people  '^  being  with  him,  had  just  made  himself  sovereign, 
and  was  likely  to  be  the  founder  of  a  new  dynasty.    England 
had  not  in  the  least  intermeddled  with  these  changes,  but 
had  acknowledged  whomsoever  the  French  people  submitted 
to  as  rulers.    As  the  present  sovereign,  when  the  fortunes  of 
his  family  were  low,  had  lived  in  our  country,  so  the  old  one 
had  taken  refuge  in  it,  and  died  there.     With  these  latter 
facts,  Lin  siud  he  was  acquainted.     I  then  drew,  at  length, 
a  parallel  between  our  position  in  British  India  and  that  of 
the  Manchoos  in  China.     There  we  were,  a  small  military 
foreign  body,  rfOing  by  title  of  conquest  over  natives  many 
times  more  numerous  than  our  whole  English  people.    If 
the  natives  rose  to  expel  us,  we  could  not  in  our  hearts 
regard  them  as  criminals  for  doing  it,  and  though  all  we 
English  would  deem  it  our  duty  to  fight  hard,  as  the  Man- 
choos were  now  fighting  in  China,  to  keep  possession  of  the 
country,  we  should  not  expect  the  most  friendly  Occidental 
nation  to  help  us.     I  observed  that  this  analogical  argument, 
telling  against  the  speaker,  and  based  on  facts  also  known  to 
Lin,  went  home  to  his  reason  more  still  than  that  based  on 
the  somewhat  more  abstract  doctrine  of  non-intervention. 
I  was  glad  to  have  an  opportunity  of  showing  a  Manchoo  of 
rank  that  our  neutrality  was  dictated  by  principles  of  inter- 


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294  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  BEBELUONS. 

national  justice;  bat  the  conclusions  I  constrained  Ldn^ 
judgment  to  accept  were  naturally  not  palatable  to  lum, 
going,  as  they  did,  to  cut  off  all  hope  of  obtaining  oar  aid. 
After  some  general  talk  he  left.  When  taking  leaye  he  said, 
"  After  searching  the  vessels  you  will  go  back?  "  I  replied 
that  I  should  wish  to  see  him  again.  To  this  he  rejoined, 
apologetically,  that  he  had  no  **  kung  kwan,  temporary  official 
dwellmg-house/*  to  receive  me  in,  his  charge  over  the  fleet 
compelling  him  to  be  on  the  water,  but  that  I  should  find 
him  at  anchor  near  Tan  too. 

I  with  my  naval  companions  then  went  to  see  Vice- 
Admiral  Le.     I  had  met  him  before  when  he  had  the  rank 
of  Rear- Admiral,  but  did  not  recognise  him  till  he  mentioned 
the  circumstance.     I  found  with  him  a  Capt.  Chang,  a  stout 
healthy-complezioned  man,  also  a  former  acquaintance,  who 
had  seen  a  good  deal  of  the  English  during  and  after  the 
war,  and  spoke  of  Sir  Henry  Pottinger  and  other  British 
officials.     There  was  also  a  fat-faced,  hoarse-voiced,   blue- 
buttoned  mandarin,  a  stranger,  of  the  rank  of  Yew  keih  or 
post-captain,     l^ese  were  all  Chinese.    Hence  when  they, 
too,  introduced  the  subject  of  our  amicable  communications 
with  the  rebels,  and  our  refusal  to  aid  the  Imperialists,  I 
expounded  the  grounds  of  our  neutral  policy  in  a  somewhat 
different  manner.      England  had  only  trading  interests  in 
China;  she  had  made  war  twelve  years  before  because  the 
irrational  behaviour  of  Commissioner  Lin  and  others,  who 
would  not  even  discuss  difficulties  with  our  high  officers 
except  by  letter,  and  as  superiors,  made  war  the  only  means 
of  obtaining  a  hearing ;  but  I  appealed  to  Chang  as  witness 
of  the  facts  that,  though  we  held  military  possession  of  many 
important  parts  of  the  territory  of  China,  and  could  have 
kept  them  had  we  been  so  disposed,  we  had  ^ven  up  all 
except  a  small  barren  island  at  the  extremity  of  the  Empire; 
which  we  wanted  merely  for  the  contiguous  fine  harbour, 
and  the  occupation  of  which  could  hardly  be  called  a  terri- 
torial encroachment.    If  we  now  wanted  to  possess  ourselves 


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FOREIGN  INTEBC0UB8E  OF  TAE  PINGS.        295 

of  i>ortion8  of  China,  then  we  should  interfere  in  her  internal 
troubles,  but  we  only  wished  to  extend,  as  much  as  possible, 
a  free  trade,  which  brought  great  advantages  to  both  nations ; 
and  if  it  did  harm  to  either  (this  alluded  to  opium)  such  was 
the  fault  of  that  nation  itself,  as  no  one  was  compelled  to 
buy  what  they  did  not  want.     Such  being  our  position,  why 
should  we  bring  ships  and  troops  to  shoot  down  Chinese,  in 
order  to  help  the  present  young  Manchoo  Emperor,  who, 
80  soon  as  he  came  to  the  throne,  had  degraded,  in  a  very 
humiliating  way,  all  those  mandarins  who  had  had  any  share 
in  making  the  treaty  of  peace  and  commerce ;  in  particular, 
Xe  ying,  the  chief  negotiator  and  the  friend  of  Sir  Henry 
Pottinger.     This  I  said  to  Capt.  Chang.     We  knew  from  the 
emperor's  own  edicts  in  the  **  Peking  Gazettes,^'  that  he 
had  virtually  broken  the  treaty  in  his  heart,  and  was  con- 
sulting with  his  high  officers  as  to  the  best  means  and  time 
for  withdrawing  our  privileges,  when  this  very  rebellion  gave 
him  other  matters  to  think  of.    But  even  if  the  old  Emperor 
had  been  alive,  and  our  friends,  the  members  of  the  con- 
ciliatory party,  still  in  power,  how  could  we,  strangers,  pre- 
sume to  dictate  to  the  Chinese  people  who  should  rule  over 
them?    If  the  majority  wanted  the  Manchoos,  the  Manchoos 
would  remain  in  power.    But  if  the  majority  was  dissatisfied 
with  the  Manchoo  government,  what  right  had  we  to  attempt 
to  support  that  government  by  force?    Tartars  had  ruled 
the  country  before  and  had  been  expelled  by  the  Chinese, 
under  a  leader  who  had  been  a  servant  to  priests  in  a  monas- 
tery.   That  man  was  the  Divinely  Appointed,  and  founded 
the  Ming  dynasty*     How  could  we,  foreigners,  presume  to 
decide  that  any  Chinese  who  rose  against  the  present  Tartars 
had  not  received  the  Divine  Commission  to  rule,  and  oppose 
Heaven  by  fighting  against  him  ? 

What  I  had  said  before  about  the  British  war,  &c.,  was 
known  to  be  true,  and  was,  therefore,  strictiy  speaking  un- 
answerable; still  the  mandarins  did  take  objections*  But 
these  latter  arguments  silenced  them.      They  could  only 


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296  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  REBELLIONS, 

repeat,  —  '^  Ta  mun  muh    yew   fung  teen  ming,  ta   mun 
she  tsih:  They  (the  Tae  pings)  have  received  no  Divine 
Commission;  they  are  (usurping)  rebels."    I  replied,  that  in 
such  case  they  would  be  destroyed  by  the  Imperialists  with- 
out extraneous  aid,  which  would  give  them  (the  Imperialists) 
much  more  dignity  in  the  eyes  of  the  people  generally  than 
if  they  depended  on  foreign  troops  for  being  kept  in  power. 
This  fairly  ended  the  discussion ;  for  there  was  much  in  the 
closing  argument  to  which  the  mandarins  were  more  acutely 
alive  than  I  could  be«     None  could  know,  could  feel,  so  well 
as  themselves  that  the  domination  of  the  originally  barbarous 
Manchoos  would,  if  maint^ned  by  the  military  support  of 
Western  barbarians,  necessarily  become  a  rule  of  mere  force 
— ^well  known  to  Chinese  to  be  the  very  lowest  description 
of  rule ;  that,  being  regarded  with  rooted  aversion  and  con- 
tempt by  the  whole  people,  such  rule  would  only  be  effective 
where  upheldby  troops ;  and  that  the  country^  throughout  its 
length  and  breadth,  would  soon  be  one  scene  of  misgovern- 
ment   by  violence,   alternating  with   no   government  and 
anarchy. 

The  reader  must  not  suppose  that  my  arguments  were  at 
bottom  really  disagreeable  to  these  Chinese  mandarins.  As 
officials,  who  had  attained  a  considerable  rank,  they  were  sel- 
fishly interested  in  the  Government  under  which  they  held  that 
rank;  but,  as  Chinese,  all  that  I  said  was  an  appeal  to  their  na- 
tional sense  of  right,  and  to  their  national  pride.  In  particular, 
what  I  introduced  incidentally  as  it  were,  but  in  reality  pur- 
posely, about  our  grand  object  in  China  being  the  extension  of 
our  trade  only,  and  our  being  decidedly  averse  to  the  acquisition 
of  territory,  was  calculated  to  dispel  that  jealousy  which  is  now 
the  main  cause  of  Chinese  ezclusi  veness.  Once  convince  a  large 
majority  of  the  industrial  and  commercial  Chinese  people  that 
all  we  want  is  to  trade,  and  that  we  are,  besides,  capable  of 
conducting  ourselves  in  ajtist  and  orderly  manner  with  respect 
to  the  persons,  families,  and  property  of  the  natives ;  and  we 
should  find  our  presence  eagerly  sought  for  in  every  province 


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FOREIGN  INTEBCOUBSE  OF  TAE  PINGS.  297 

of  the  countrj.     The  second  part  of  this  task  is  the  most 
difficult.    It  is  a/oc/y  that  all  we  want  is  to  trade;  and  the 
historical  and  geographical  works  being  published  by  Pro- 
testant missionaries  to  a  reading  people  like  the  Chinese, 
i^ill,  in  time,  bring  that  fact  home  to  their  minds.     But  it  is 
equally  a  fact,  that  a  considerable  proportion  of  the  Occi- 
dental residents  in  China  are  quite  incapable  of  conducting 
themselves  in  a  just  and  orderly  manner  with  respect  to  the 
persons  and  property  of  the  natives.    And  the  excesses  of 
one  individual  of  this  kind  on  one  occasion  in  one  locality, 
is,  unfortunately,  sufficient  to  nullify  throughout  a  whole 
country  side  the  good  effects  that  may  have  been  produced 
by  the  gentlemanly  behaviour  of  half  a  dozen  others,  on  a 
number  of  separate  occasions,  in  the  same  neighbourhood. 
I  shall  have  to  treat  this  subject  specially  before  I  clos^^'  in 
the  meantime  I  return  to  our  search  of  the  fleojt.^^  'W^^ 
started  in  two  parties  to  get  through  the  search  more  rapidly. 
Williams,  with  the  fat,  hoarse* voiced  post-caj^tain,  azid  a 
Chinese  (English  speaking)  linguist,  taking  OQe'^et  of  Vessels; 
while  Spratt,  the  Admiral,  another  English  ^pe^kipg  Chinese, 
and  myself  went  to  visit  another  set.    ^ra{( '  and  Williams 
had  each  a  couple  of  marines  and  a  blue*js^.ket  with  them. 
We  began  with  the  Portuguese  lorchaQ. ;  After  examining 
one  or  two,  my  curiosity  was  satisfied ;  and  I  left  my  com- 
panion with  his  men  and  the  linguist  to  do  the  searching  while 
I  sat  in  the  boat  with  the  Admiral.     His  demeanour  did 
not  correspond  with  British  notions  of  an  Admiral  in  com- 
mand of  a  naval  besieging  force.     He  soon  closed  his  eyes 
and  went  off  to  sleep.     Two  or  three  times  he  was  near  to 
falling  on  his  face,  and  the  slaver  streamed  out  of  the  corners 
of  his  mouth  as  he  sat  nodding  there.     His  body  servant,  on 
one  occasion  when  he  sprang  forward  to  hold  him  up,  felt 
the  scene  to  be  so  painfully  ridiculous  that  he  explained  to 
me,  transfomung  his  face  into  a  look  of  grave  concern,  that 
his  master  was  ruining  his  health  in  the  anxious  discharge  of 
bis  duties,  sitting  up  late  at  night  writing  despatches,  &c.  &c* 


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298  THB  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  BEBBLLI0N8.. 

But  I  took  an  opportunity  of  questioning  the  £ngliah  ^leik- 
ing  Chinese  in  English  as  to  the  cause  of  the  AdminJa 
exhaustion ;  and  was  at  once  told  that  he  spent  the  greater 
part  of  the  night  in  smoking  opium  Vnd  listening  to  ini»c 
girls.    Before  we  had  finished  a  score  of  the  yeoocla,  the 
Admiral  declared  he  could  hold  out  no  longer,  which  was 
indeed  plain  enough,  and  he  went  o£f  to  his  own  Yeaady  the 
fat  post-captain  beiog  transferred  to  our  party,  and  another 
man  allotted  to  Williams.     But  we  had  not  progreesed 
much  further  when  Williams  came  alongside  to  say  that  his 
mandarin  and  Chinese  linguist  had  both  made  off;  and  I  had 
to  go  to  the  Admiral's  vessel  and  politely  hound  out  sabsti- 
tutes,  with  whom  I  started  Williams  again.    My  fkt  friend 
with  the  blue  button  maintained  his  position ;  but  he  yawned 
dreadfully,  and  seemed  to  think  that  he  was  undergoing  great 
fatigues  in  the  service  of  his  sovereign.    By  the  time  we  had 
finished  the  last  of  the  sixty  or  seventy  vessels,  and  gone 
off  in  our  own  boats,  I  felt  that  this  peculiar  method  of  deter- 
ring the  mandarins  from  enticing  our  men  away  was  likely  to 
prove  effective.     We  ssdled  at  once  for  Tan  too  to  open  the 
second  scene  of  bother  by  asking  Lin  to  authorize  us  to 
search  the  camps.      He  received  us  with  his  accustomed 
civility,  but  declined  taking  any  step  to  forward  my  wishes 
as  to  the  camps.     He  declared  that  he  could  not  even  take 
cognisance  of  them  officially,  as  the  communication  from  the 
Shanghae  Intendant  had  reference  to  the  fleet  only.     He 
stated  that  the  latter  was  under  his  command,  but  that  he 
had  no  authority  whatever  on  shore ;  that  the  land  force  was 
under  the  command  of  General  Tang;  that  he  (Lin)  had  not 
seen  thb  officer,  and  did  not  know  him ;  that  the  camps  were 
filthy,  and  the  troops  disorderly ;  and  that  he  himself  had 
never  been  in  any  of  them,  not  considering  it  quite  safe.    I 
replied  that  we  had  no  apprehensions  on  the  score  of  per« 
sonal  safety,  but  could  not,  of  course,  go  into  the  camps  to 
make  a  search  without  the  sanction  of  the  commanding 
officer;  and  that  I  should  require  Hoo,  the  Intendant's 


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FOliEIQN  INTEBCOUBSE   OF  TAE  PINGS.  299 

Jeputy^  to  pat  me  into  commumcation  with  him.    In  reply 
to  !Lfin*&  argument,  that  we  might  on  the  same  grounds  ask  to 
search   any  military  station  in  the  interior,  I  stated  that  at 
the  least  some  fifty  or  sixty  English  had  been  employed  by 
the  Imperial  officials  for  a  month  or  more  in  the  vicinity  of 
Chin  keang ;  that  some  of  these  were  known  to  have  visited 
the  Imperial  camps ;  and  that,  if  the  deserters  sought  for 
were  in  that  quarter,  nothing  was  more  likely  than  that,  the 
fleet  being  comparatively  idle,  they  should  be  employed  in 
directing  the  cannonade  against  the  walls  of  Chin  keang. 
lain^s    rejoinder  was  merely  that  his   own  authority  was 
limited  to  the  shipping.    I  then  told  him  that  I  had  been  in- 
Btmcted,  if  the  deserters  were  not  found  among  the  Impe- 
rialists, to  make  inquiries  of  the  Tae  pings;  that  I  proposed, 
in  pursuance  of  these  instructions,  proceeding  to  Chin  keang ; 
and  I  requested  him  to  give  orders  to  the  fleet  to  offer  no 
impediment  to  the  passage  of  our  party.     He  said  that  if  he 
conld  take  no  cognisance  of  our  wish  to  search  the  camps, 
still  less  could  he  know  anything  officially  of  our  commimi- 
cating  with  the  rebels.    I  replied  that  as  he  declared  himself 
to  have  no  authority  over,  or  influence  with  the  land  force,  I 
shotdd  say  no  more  to  him  about  it ;  but  that  I  must  persist 
in  requesting  him,  as  Commander  of  the  Naval  Force,  to  take 
steps  to  prevent  its  interfering  with  the  execution  of  the 
duty  with  which  I  had  been  charged ;  and  which  did  not 
prejudice  the  essential  objects  of  the  blockade*    He  at  length 
declared,  with  great  earnestness  of  manner,  that  he  had 
indeed  command  of  the  ships,  but  not  of  the  guns  on  board 
of  them,  which,  he  said,  were  at  the  orders  of  the  Vice- 
Admiraly  Le.    Now  an  international  agent  of  the  '^  ener- 
getic" class — one  of  those  of  whom  it  is  usually  said  that 
**  they  know  how  to  break  through  the  wiles  of  Asiatic 
duplicity*' — would  have  told  Lin  he  was  lying,  and  that  they 
would  pass  in  defiance  of  him.    Not  having  much  faith  in 
the  ultimate  efficacy  of  that  easy  kind  of  "  energy,"  I  merely 
told  Lin,  with  an  earnestness  that  must  have  been  a  credit* 


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SOO  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  REBELLIONS. 

able  imitation  of  his  own,  that  I  should  not  £ail  to  prefer  the 
same  request  to  Yice-Admiral  Le,  the  officer  having  autho- 
rity over  the  guns.     Lin  broke  into  a  smile,  and  said,  ejeiiig 
me  in  a  peculiarly  knowing  manner,  '*  Wo  kan  chuh  ne  t^ 
e  sze^  wo  kan  chuh  ne  teih  e  sze,  I  perceive  what  your  inten- 
tions are,  I  perceive  what  your  intentions  are."      To  this 
day  I  remain  unable  to  guess  what  it  could  have  been  that 
occupied  his  own  mind  when  he  said  this.     If  he  fancied  that 
(beyond  deserter  searching)  I  had  any  object,   but  that  of 
gaining  information,  he  was  wrong ;  and,  viewing  the  total 
want  of  truthfulness  with  which  the  Imperialist  authorita^ 
at  Shanghae  met  him,  my  chief,  Mr.  Alcock,  was  fully  justi- 
fied in  despatching  me  to  get,  in  an  unostentatious  way^  some 
reliable  intelligence  of  the  position  and  probable  movements 
of  the  Tae  pings.    For  anything  we  then  knew  to  the  coo* 
trary,  an  army  might  have  been  preparing  to  force  its  way  to 
Soo  chow  and  Shanghae.     Soon  after  the  above  I  took  s 
friendly  leave  of  Lin;  and  then  applied  to  the  expectant 
Hoo  to  get  permission  from  General  Tfing  for  us  to  search 
the  camps.  His  answer  was,  that  if  one  of  the  higher  civilians, 
the  Governor  General  or  the  Governor,  of  the  province  had 
been  near,  he  would  on  his  own  responsibility  have  applied 
to  him  on  the  subject ;  but  that  he  would  risk  his  head  if  he, 
a  civilian  of  subordinate  rank,  went,  without  any  authority 
from  his  superiors,  into  the  camp  to  prefer  our  request  to  the 
military  officers  in  command.     As  I  had  never  hoped  to  find 
the  missing  men,  so  now  I  considered  that  the  search  annoy* 
ance  had  been   sufficiently  prolonged;   and  determined  to 
employ  the  remaining  hour  or  two  of  daylight  in  walking  up 
the  short  passage  to  Tan  too  on  the  Grand  Canal.     The 
expectant  Hoo  said  that  he  should  retTirn  to  Shanghae  by 
the  inner  waters,  the  voyage  by  the  Great  River  being 
** extremely  fatiguing"   for  him.      We  found  the  streets 
of  Tan  too  crowded  with  soldiers    from    the    camps,  na- 
tives of  many  different"  provinces.      We  got  back  to  the 
boats  at  about  dark,  and  the  wind  being  fair,  set  sail  for 


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POREIGN  INTERCOURSE  OF  TAfi  PINGS.  301 

Silver  Island.    I  first  had  sent   to   inform  Superintendent 
Lin^    that   after  notifying  on  the  following  day  my  inten- 
tion  to   Admiral  Le  I  should   go   up  Chin  keang.    It  was 
past  nine  o'clock  before  we  started  for  Silver  Island,  and  the 
current  being  very  strong  we  made  way  but  slowly.   I  there- 
fore soon  went  to  bed,  after  a  rather  fatiguing  day  for  a  man 
v^hose  ten  years'  residence  in  China  was  beginning  to  tell  on 
his  health.     The  three  to  four  miles  of  river  which  we  had 
to  pass  over  had  been  quite  clear  of  blockading  vessels  since 
our  arrival  in  the  vicinity,  and  was  so  at  sunset.     I  thought, 
therefore^  that  the  boatmen  would  have  no  difficulty  in  laying 
our   squadron   alongside  of  the  Temple  wharf  again.    At 
about  half-past  ten  I  was,  however,  roused  out  of  my  sleep 
by  an  authoritative  challenge,  and  by  a  man  who  was  in  the 
bows  of  my  boat  returning  the  answer,  "  From  Shanghae.'* 
I  extricated  myself  from  my  boat  mosquito  curtains  at  once, 
and  stepped  out  on  to  the  foredeck,  where,  to  my  surprise, 
I   found  that  we  were, — my  own  boat  in  advance  of  the 
others, — sailing  into  the  middle  of  a  squadron  at  anchor. 
**  Where  have  we  got    to?"  inquired  I  of  the  boatman. 
**  We're  at  the  turn  not  far  from  Silver  Island,  and  these 
are  mandarin  vessels,"  he  answered.    In  the  meantime  we 
were  being  hailed — "Where  are  you  going  to?"     "From 
Shanghae,"  I  shouted.     "Where  are  you  going  to?"  was 
repeated  in  a  louder  tone.    "  From  Shanghae,"  bawled  I,  at 
the  top  of  my  voice.     **  Stop  to  be  examined,"  was  the  re- 
joinder.   "To   Silver  Island,"    I  now  began  to    answer. 
"  Stop  to  be  examined."    "  To  Silver  Island."    "  Drop  your 
anchor,  or  we'll  fire."     "Fire,  and  be  hanged  1"  said  I  in 
English  to  myself,  for  we  were  leaving  the  vessel  out  of 
sight  in  the  gloom.     I  had,  however,  immediately  to  begin 
giving  the  same  set  of  behind-the-time  answers  to  the  same 
series  of  questions  from  the  next  vessel,  which  I  also  kept  in 
play  till  we  got  out  of  sight.     The  next  was  shorter  in  his 
interlocutory,  and  did  fire  with  a  matchlock  or  gingall;  and 
80  the  fourth.     But  I  was  then  past  the  whole  squadron. 


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302  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  REBELLIONS. 

dose  to  a  boat  anchored  in  shore  (one  of  the  unarmed  negU- 
tered  ones  which  supplied  the  fleet  with  proTisions);    and 
could,  had  I  pleased,  at  once  haTe  suled  up  to  Chin  keang 
without  further  interruption.    But  I  now  told  the  boatmen 
to  stop ;  for  none  of  our  companions  were  visible  "vrliile  the 
bawling  and  firing  from  the  mandarin  vessels  had  increased. 
The  headmost  vessel  of  the  mandarin  squadron  was  just 
visible ;  and  from  the  stern  of  the  provision  boat  a  man — or 
a  voice,  for  I  could  see  nothing — ^kept  repeating  to  me  with 
the  hoarseness  and  monotony  of  a  coffee-mill,  "  liaou  ta  puh 
paou  maou^  fang  paou  ah  I    Laou  ta^  puh  paou,**  &c.  &c  dec 
"  Boatmaster,  if  you  don't  anchor  theyll  fire  at  yon  y^itb 
cannon  I    Boatmaster,  if  you  don't,  &c.  &c.''     I  gave  no 
answer  to  this,  being  engaged  in  looking  back  into  the  dark- 
ness for  the  boats  of  my  companions.     But  the  indistinct 
utterance  of  the  speaker,  with  the   Chinese  suppression  of 
pronouns,  led  my  servant,  who  was  in  the  cabin,  to  under- 
stand the  man  as  threatening  that,  if  we  did  not  anchor,  Ae 
would  fire  at  us  with  cannon ;  so  getting  angry  at  length 
with  the  coffee-grinding  repetition  of  the  threat,  he  bolted  out 
past  me  to  the  head  of  our  boat,  and  shouted  fiercely,  *'  Ne 
yew  to  ma  ta  teih  paou?    What's  the  size  of  your  cannon?" 
This  very  Chinese  way  of  squaring  up  to  the  foe,  and  crying, 
"Come  on,  if  you  darel"  set  me  a  laughing;  and  I  was 
accordingly,  when  a  mandarin  boat  came  alongside  to  make 
inquiries,  in  a  somewhat  better   temper  than   when   first 
roused  out  of  my  sleep.     After  some  parley  with  the  subor- 
dinate naval  ofiicer,  who,  lantern  in  hand,  was  standing  in  the 
ship's  boat,  and  being  told  by  him  that  this  squadron  had 
come  round  at  dusk  from  the  main  fleet  by  order  of  Super- 
intendent Lin  to  prevent  communication  with  Chin  keang  at 
night,  that  they  had  not  recognised  us  in  the  dark  as  the 
foreigners,  &c.  &c.,  I  gave  the  order  to  go  back  to  look  for 
the  rest  of  my  flotilla.    I  found  it  all  higgledy-piggledy ;  the 
boats'  heads  together  as  they  formed  a  cluster ;  their  sidls  just 
as  they  had  fallen  when  the  halyards  had  been  let  go  on  the 


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FOREIGN  INTESCOUBSE  OF  TAB  PINGS.  303 

irlng  commencing ;  and  my  two  companions,  with  their  men 

m  the  fore -decks  of  their  respective  boats,  wondering  where 

.hey  ^were^  and  what  was  the  matter.   It  was  one  of  the  many 

nstances   that  have  come  under  my    observation    of  the 

immense   power  that  the  faculty  of  speech  gives.    I  could 

have  run  np  to  Chin  keang.     Having  explained  our  position 

to  my  companions,  I  ended  the  talk  of  the  mandarin  people 

by  declaring  that  we  should  not  pass  their  squadron  till  the 

momingy  but  anchor  there  for  the  night ;  for  I  was  sorely  in 

want  of  sleep.  I  had  not,  however,  slept  long  when  I  was  again 

awakened ;  and,  listening,  found  it  was  by  the  noise  of  voices 

resounding  in  deep  earnest  calls  from  ship  to  ship  and  boat 

to  boat.    The  tones  were  alarmed  and  almost  tragic.  '*  What 

on  earth  is  the  matter  now  ?"  said  I  to  myself,  as  I,  for  the 

second  time,  sprang  up  from  my  summer  sleeping-mat,  and 

stepped  out  at  the  open  forenloor.    I  saw  the  rocks  and  trees 

of  the  western  end  of  Silver  Island  and  the  whole  of  the 

Tiver  there  lighted  up  by  a  glare  of  red  light;  and  presently 

distinguished  the  cry  that  the  ^'  long  haired  "  were  breaking 

out  and  sending  down  fire  rafts  before  them.    The  windlasses 

of  the  nearest  vessels  were  working  as  hard  as  they  could, 

weighing  anchor  and  hoisting  sail ;  and  in  a  very  short  time 

two  or  three  were  making  off  down  the  river.     As  that  was 

clearly  not  the  time  and  place  to  open  communications  with 

the  Tae  pings,  we  followed  their  example.    But  observing 

that  the  light  and  the  alarm  were  alike  dying  away,  we 

presently  anchored  again ;  passed  the  night  without  further 

interruption ;  and  at  daybreak  sailed  through  the  reassembled 

squadron  up  to  our  old  station  at  Silver  Island.    We  had 

seen,  however,   how  the  native   men  of  war  would  meet 

rebel  sallies.     The  Tae  pings  had  only  sent  a  single  fire  rafb 

down. 

On  the  following  day,  when  Admiral  Le  had  risen,  I  made 
the  same  request  to  him  that  I  had  made  to  Superintendent 
Lb.  He  replied  he  must  communicate  with  Lin  who  had 
the  general  and  chief  control  of  the  fieet.    I  then,  in  order  to 


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304  THE  CHIKESB  AND  THEIK  EEBELUOKB. 

elicit  an  answer  to  the  point,  pnt  the  questiony  irliethery  \l 
our  boat  passed  up  tl)p  river,  his  fleet  would  fire  at  ber  os 
not  ?  He  replied  that  they  would  not;  but  at  the  same  time 
repeated  that  he  must  consult  with  Lin  on  the  matter. 
The  remainder  of  the  day  we  passed  at  Silver  Isbind; 
whither  a  number  of  Imperialist  soldiers  irom  the  camps 
came  to  look  at  us. 

That  Admiral  Le's  fleet  would  openly  fire  on  a  boat,  even 
a  native  craft,  which  was  well  known  to  contain   Sritish 
ofiicers  engaged  in  o£Scial  duty  was,  I  knew  from  the  first, 
extremely  unlikely.   But  had  I  started  in  her  without  giving 
due  intimation,  as  also  sufiicient  time  for  the  various  veasek 
of  the  fleet  to  become  acquainted  with  my  intention,  it  was  by 
no  means  improbable  that  some  of  them,  with  their  general 
orders  to  stop  all  communication,  and  not  knowing  exactly 
who  was  in  the  boat,  might  fire  on  her.     Now,  had  we,  or 
any  one  of  us,  been  killed,  under  such  circumstances,  the  case 
would  at  once  have  constituted  a  nice  difficulty.     ^*  Sash 
breach   of  blockade,"  and   '^Wanton   massacre   of   British 
officers,"  would  have  been  the  terms  employed  by  the  usual 
two  parties  among  ourselves.     But  the  triumph  of  an  inter* 
national  agent,   whether  in  great  or  small  afiairs,  consists 
in  effecting  the  object  without  any  fighting,  or  giving  rise  to 
future  troubles.    My  business,  in  the  present  case,  was  to 
give  a  sufficient  quantity  of  trouble  about  the  deserters ; 
then  to  get  reliable  information  as  to  the  state  of  things  both 
with  Imperialists  and  rebels;  and  afterwards  to  bring  the 
boats  back  to  Shanghae,  without  rows  and  without  injury  to 
any  one.     Hence  my  distinct  applications  to  Lin  and  Le ; 
and,  there  being  no  reason  for  hurrying  away,  but  rather  tlie 
reverse,  hence  my  allowing  some  thirty-six  hours  for  the  full 
operation  of  the  mental  agencies  employed. 

On  the  morning  of  the  2nd  my  two  naval  companions,  with 
two  of  the  marines,  the  two  seamen  and  myself,  started  in  my 
boat.  The  mandarins  having  conveyed  threatening  intima- 
tions to  my  clerks  and  servants  and  to  the  boatmen^  I  left 


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FOREIGN  INTERCOURSE  OF  TAB  PINGS.  305 

them  all  behind  at  Silver  Island,  to  their  great  Batisfaction. 
For  my  own  people  I  had  no  particular  use,  but  I  did  wish 
some  of  the  boatmen  to  volunteer.     I  had  presently  cause  to 
regret  not  having  taken  a  couple,  whether  they  liked  or  not ; 
for  the  wind  we  started  with  failed  us  soon,  and  our  English- 
men could  not  work  the  sculls  at  all,  while  at  the  novel  labour 
of  tracking  and  poling  inshore,  they  proved  very  inexpert. 
AVhen  we  had,  with  great  difficulty,  got  up  to  within  three 
quarters  of  a  mile  of  the  high  promontory,  the  Pih  koo  Hill, 
I  determined  to  land  and  walk  the  rest  of  the  way.     Besides 
the  wish  to  save  time,  we  saw  a  party  of  the  Tae  pings 
Btatioiiing  themselves  about  midway  down  the  nearly  perpen- 
dicular face  of  the  promontory  over  the  water,  where  they 
were  flashing  off  their  matchlocks;   and  I  thought  if  the 
whole  boatload  of  us  went  up  together  they  might  fire,  which 
they   were  not  likely  to  do  if  a  single  man   approached. 
Mr.  Spratt  volunteered  to  accompany  me  instead  of  following 
in  the  boat ;  which  then  received  orders  to  remain  where  it 
was,  imless  a  signal  was  made  for  it  to  follow.    When  we  got 
near  the  foot  of  the  Hill,  we  found  our  progress  impeded  by 
ditches,  and  palisades  of  pointed  stakes ;  in  addition  to  which 
the  ways  of  access  were  stuck  all  over  with  short  pointed  pieces 
of  split  bamboo,  which  would  have  formed  a  serious  obstacle 
to  the  advance  of  Chinese  soldiers  with  their  bare  ankles 
and  either  no  chaussure  at  all  or  only  straw  sandals.     A 
number  of  the  Tae  pings  had  come  out  on  to  the  hill  side, 
and  a  few  descended  a  zigzag  path,  reserved  on  its  carefully 
scarped  face.     To  the  nearest  of  these  I  ^called  to  aid  us 
through  the  labyrinth  we  had  entered,  and  which  looked  as 
if  it  contained  trous  de  loup.     The  man  approached,  when 
we  scrambled,  under  his  guidance,  up  to  the  foot  of  the  new 
wall,  wept  through  an  embrasure  on  a  level  with  the  ground, 
and  so  entered  the  fortifications  of  Chin  keang.     The  heat 
was  excessive;  and  I  am  convinced  that  one  fifth  part  of 
the  exposure  and  fatigue  which  I  underwent  in  this  expe- 
dition would,  if  endured  in  some  monotonous  routine  work 

X 


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806  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

for  which  I  had  no  liking,  have  certainly  killed  me  in  my  then 
impaired  state  of  health.  It  was  in  the  same  month  of  Julj, 
exactly  ten  years  before,  that  the  British  forces  Btonned  this 
city,  when,  as  Sir  John  Davis  states,  '^  the  excesBive  heat 
of  the  weather  tended  greatly  to  aggravate  the  toils  of  iht 
day,  and  the  deaths  from  the  effects  of  the  sun  were  about  aa 
numerous  as  those  from  the  enemy."  * 

Within  the  exterior  wall,  we  found  a  few  old  Kwang  se 
Tae  pings  superintending  the  completion  of  the  works  at  tfak 
key  of  their  position  on  the  river.  They  ordered  a  spearmaa 
to  conduct  us  to  the  Commandant.  With  him  we  deaccaded 
the  western  face  of  the  Pih  koo  Hill,  and  crossed  the  plain  be- 
tween the  river  and  the  walls  of  the  city ;  which  we  entered  bj 
the  North  gate.  Nanking,  which  I  had  traversed  two  mootbg 
before,  had  a  very  desolate  appearance ;  the  women  and  the 
children  being  all  quartered  in  streets  through  which  we  were 
not  led ;  the  male  population  being  nearly  all  engaged  in  mili- 
tary duties  and  labours  at  the  exterior  fortifications  ;  and  no 
trade  being  possible  from  the  fact  that  the  Tae  pings  had 
seized  everything.  Still  the  bulk  of  their  forces  being  there, 
and  in  particular  all  the  higher  leaders,  the  streeta  did  show 
signs  of  life.  But  those  of  Chin  keang  were  the  moat  com- 
plete picture  of  desolation  I  ever  beheld.  There  were  no 
inhabitants ;  the  few  women  taken  in  the  place  had  been  re- 
moved to  Nanking;  and  it  now  contained  only  a  garrison  of 
some  three  thousand  men,  nearly  all  of  whom  were  neces- 
sarily located,  night  and  day,  at  the  exterior  defences.  The 
doors  and  wooden  window-shutters  of  the  houses  and  shops 
had  been  employed  in  the  construction  of  the  river  stockades; 
and  as  we  passed  through  street  after  street  without  meeting 
a  soul,  we  stopped  occasionally  to  inspect  the  empty  dwell- 
ings. On  the  floor  of  a  room  in  one  we  noticed  a  large  heap 
of  good  rice.  The  Tae  ping  Commandant,  Lo  ta  kang,  occu- 
pied the  fine  Yamun,  the  quarters  of  the  former  Imperialist 
Commandant,  the  Lieutenant-General  of  the  Tartar  Banner- 
*  Cliinft,  during  the  War  and  since  the  Peace. 


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TOBEIQN   INTEfiCOUBSB  OF  TAB  PINGS.  807 

man.    j^  we  neared  these  head-quarters  signs  of  life  began  to 
ahow  themselves  again.   At  length  we  escaped  from  the  glare 
of  tbe  blamig  sun  on  the  stone  flagging  of  the  streets  into 
one  of  the  spacious  ant&-halls  of  the  Yamun;  where  I  sig- 
nalized my  advent  by  drinking  three  or  four  cups  of  tea  in 
rapid  succession.  While  Lo  ta  kang  was  preparing  to  receive 
the  unexpected  visitors^  the  old  Tae  pings  not  on  duty  col- 
lected in  the  hall  where  we  were.    From  the  emissaries  met 
on  the  Orand  Canal,  I  knew  there  were  not  more  than  three 
hundred  of  them  in  Chin  keang ;  and  I  now  saw  a  large  pro- 
portion   of  that  number  before  me.     They  were,  without 
exception,  dressed  in  the  simplest  and  plainest  clothing,  viz., 
black  Chinese  jackets  and  trousers.     Amidst  all  the  variety 
of  figure  and  feature,  there  was  invariably  the  grave  and 
earnest  demeanour  and  expression  naturally  to  be  expected 
in  men  who  had  for  three  years  been  engaged  in  an  unre- 
mitting fight  for  their  existence.     After  a  while  the  fold«- 
ing-doors  at  the  back  of  the  hall  in  which  we  were  seated 
were  thrown  open,  music  struck  up,  and  we  were  ushered 
through  one  or  two  more  halls  into  the  presence  of  Com- 
mandant Lo,  who  received  us  in  his  full  yellow  and  red 
tixuform.     He  at  once  recognised  me  as  the  person  who,  two 
months  before,  had  landed  from  the  Hertnes,  to  speak  to  him 
after  we  had  been  firing  at  each  other.     He  said  no  foreign 
deserters  had  come  within  his  position,  nor  had  any  foreigners 
been  observed  directing  the  guns  fired  from  the  Imperialist 
camps  against  the  city.    After  this  formal  matter  had  been 
discussed,  we  had  some  conversation  on  other  subjects,  mili- 
tary and  religious.     I  inquired  how  it  was  that  the  Tae 
pings  did  not  make  greater  use  of  the  smaller  firearms,  mus- 
kets and  pistols,  the  former  of  which  I  said  were,  with  the 
attached  bayonet,  our  chief  arms  ?    I  was  induced  to  ask  this 
because,  while  there  was  a  great  demand  among  the  Tae 
pmg  soldiers  for  swords,  they  seemed  to  take  little  interest 
in  guns.     Lo  said,  that  his  people  did  not  understand  the 
use  of  them,  and  that  they  were  valueless  when  the  supply 

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308  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIR  REBELLIONS. 

of  ammunition  ran  out  or  the  springs  went  wrong.  Sword: 
and  spears,  he  said,  seldom  got  out  of  order,  were  easily 
repaired,  and  he  found  that  his  people  could  always  beat  the 
Imperialists  with  them.  Some  ''tens*'  of  his  men  hadyLe 
said,  sallied  out  the  day  before  to  drive  off  some  two  or  three 
hundred  of  the  Imperialists  who  were  adyancrng  too  dose  to 
the  walls,  and  had  made  them  run  with  ease.  He  said, '''  I 
am  beginning  to  get  old  now,  but  give  me  a  good  spear,  and 
I  am  still  not  afraid  to  meet  any  ten  of  them."  There  seemed 
to  be  a  very  intimate  relation — almost  a  filial  relation— 
between  his  black-clothed  followers  and  himself.  Some  fiflj 
to  a  hundred  of  them  were  standing  in  the  hall  opposite  to 
where  I  was  sitting,  and  Lo,  castmg  a  glance  over  them, 
asked  if  I  thought  they  looked  like  men  who  could  '^  conquer 
the  rivers  and  the  mountains  ?  "  I  asked  him  how  it  was 
that  both  at  Chin  keang  and  Nanking  they  allowed  such 
large  numbers  of  the  Imperialists  to  encamp  in  their  inmie* 
diate  vicinity ;  and  why  they  did  not  concentrate  their  forces 
and  rout  them?  He  replied,  that  he  should  merely  act  on 
the  defensive  till  intelligence  came  of  the  final  success  of 
the  Tae  ping  army  that  had  marched  to  the  North ;  when  he 
would  sally  out  and  attack  his  besiegers  in  their  camps.  He 
volunteered  the  statement  that  the  Tae  pings  had  not  ad- 
vanced on  Soo  chow  and  Shanghae,  because  they  wished  to 
avoid,  as  much  as  possible,  whatever  might  cause  interruption 
to  the  commercial  operations  of  the  season.  In  saying  this 
there  was  no  pretence  of  extreme  friendly  feeling.  It  simply 
meant,  ^^  You  see,  where  we  can  avoid  it,  we  are  willing  to 
spare  your  countrymen  loss."  He  and  all  his  people  received 
us  as  persons  in  no  way  hostile  to  him,  and  with  a  civility 
that  appeared  to  cost  them  no  effort ;  but  he  intimated  that 
it  would  be  better  if  we  refrained  from  passing  to  and  fro 
between  the  Tae  pings  and  the  Imperialists,  as  he  was  appre- 
hensive the  latter  might  put  some  of  us  to  death,  and  then 
say  his  people  had  done  it.  He  had  the  delicacy  to  refrain 
from  saying,  what  circumstances  would  have  justified^  viz., 


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FOREIGN   INTERCOUKBE  OF  TAE  PINGS.  309 

that  some  of  us  might  come  nominally  as  friends.  In  reality 
as  spies.  Lo  appeared  to  be  about  fifty  years  of  age ;  he 
'was  middle-sized  as  to  height,  and  squarely  built,  without,  how- 
ever, being  remarkably  broad.  He  said  he  had  "  seen  us 
fight ''  some  twelve  years  before  at  Canton ;  and  his  manner 
implied  that  we  did  it  well.  It  had,  I  know,  excited  the 
admiration  of  the  Cantonese  at  that  time,  that  the  English 
soldiers,  when  they  advanced  to  storm  the  detached  forts  at 
the  back  of  the  city,  '*came  on  the  faster,  the  more  they  were 
fired  at." 

When  we  took  leave  of  Lo,  horses  were  furnished  us,  and 

an  escort  appointed  to  take  us  back  to  the  Pih  koo  Hill.     At 

my  request,  a  man  accompanied  us  with  a  large  bundle  of 

Tae   ping  books.     We   issued  by  the  same  embrasure  by 

which  we  had  entered,  and  which  was  in  full  view  of  several 

Imperial  camps  and  of  the  whole  Imperial  fleet.     A  number 

of  the  Tae  pings  issued  with  us,  and  spread  themselves  along 

the  brow  of  the  hill.     From  the  nearest  Imperial  camp  a 

shot  was  fired  at  a  high  elevation.    It  was  intended  doubtless 

for  the  crowd  on  the  hill,  though  it  fell  with  a  flop  into  the 

muddy  ground  of  a  rice  field  which  my  companion,  and  I 

with  the  man  carrying  the  books  were  just  then  passing. 

Spratt  having  noticed  the  spying  face  of  a  man  among  the 

reeds,  which,  as  they  considerably  overtopped  my  head  on  both 

sides  of  the  path,  might  easily  contain  an  Imperialist  picket, 

I  soon  shouldered  the  books  myself,  and  made  our  isolated 

Tae  ping  return,  after  rewarding  him  with  my  umbrella; 

which  several  of  his  comrades  had  anxiously  asked  me  if  I 

was  willing  to  sell  to  them.    We  reached  the  boat  and  our 

little  squadron  at  Silver  Island  without  adventure. 

I  there  found  some  of  superintendent  Lin's  boats.  The 
mandarins,  though  their  own  threats  had  deterred  my  people 
from  accompanying  me,  would,  I  knew,  now  only  be  too  glad 
to  find  out  through  them  what  I  had  seen  and  done.  I 
therefore  observed  absolute  silence,  and  gave  orders  for  our 
immediate  return  to  Shanghae.     We   reached  that  place. 


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810  THE  CHINESE  AND  THEIB  BEBELLIOHS. 

after  an  absence  of  fourteen  days^  all  in  health  and  safety, 
and  without  other  mishap  than  the  breaking  of  my  mainmast, 
which  gave  way  in  a  strong  breeze  and  caused  a  day's  atcq^ 
page  at  Keang  ying. 

Both  Mr.  Spratt  and  myself  had  estimated  the  total 
strength  of  the  Tae  ping  garrison  of  Chin  keang  at  not  more 
than  three  thousand.  This  force  had  to  guard  and  defend 
exterior  defences  of  five  miles  in  circuit.  The  crews  <^  the 
Imperialist  fleet  alone  nearly  equalled  it  in  numbers,  and  had 
more  guns.  The  Imperial  land  force,  all  inquiries  of  myself 
and  people  showed  to  be  from  ten  to  fifteen  thousand  strongs 
occupying  some  six  or  eight  detached  fortified  camps,  placed 
on  various  favourable  positions  around  the  besieged  city. 
Notwithstanding  all  this,  I  closed  my  ofiEicial  report  as 
follows : — 

''  I  may  state  that  many  circumstances,  which  it  requires 
too  much  space  to  enumerate,  render  it  extremely  impro- 
bable that  Chin  keang  will  be  retaken  by  the  Imperial  forces 
which  now  beleaguer  it.  It  is  much  more  likdy  that  tliey 
will  disband  from  want  of  pay.'' 

The  observant  reader  will  have  marked  several  of  the 
circumstances  which  led  me  to  affirm,  in  spite  of  the  great 
disparity  in  numbers  and  in  war  material,  that  Chin  keang 
was  not  likely  to  be  retaken.  The  scarcity  of  pay  on 
the  side  of  the  Imperialists  was  a  fact  of  which  I  had 
ample  testimony  from  their  own  men.  A  considerable 
number  did  disband  shortly  afterwards,  some  hundreds 
deserting  to  the  Tae  pings  in  the  city.  And  though  the 
Imperialists  have  always  managed  to  maintain  a  fleet  and 
army  in  the  vicinity,  Chin  keang  has  for  the  two  years  that 
have  since  elapsed  remuned  constantly  in  the  possesion  of 
the  Tae  pings